Name: Jane Dunn
Course Taken: Professional Culinary Diploma
Graduated: June 2014
1. What kind of cook were you before taking the course?
Before I started the course I barely cooked at home, but I baked a lot. My confidence skills were quite low, but I liked cooking your regular sort of dishes like Bolognese, lasagna, etc!
2. What was your motivation for choosing the Professional Culinary Diploma?
I wanted to be confident in something I knew I could be good at. I had looked into university to do graphic design, history, and even more, but none of it really took my fancy till I looked into cookery school. I wanted to have a career in something I loved!
3. What made you choose the Ashburton Chefs Academy?
I looked at the main schools in London and got a place on them all, but the price of them was ridiculous, and there was nowhere for accommodation without it costing far too much. I then found out about Ashburton and decided to visit with my Mum, and fell in love with it – it was so much more personal than the other schools, the accommodation option was there, and even the reception staff were so friendly that I knew I wanted to go there.
4. What did you think of the course content and structure?
I like how its laid out – at first it seemed a bit daunting and off-putting, but I was wrong. It makes perfect sense as to how they have done it – and it was lovely!
5. What did you think of the facilities?
I was there when they were building the new dining rooms for the diploma courses, and even through the disruption it was lovely. The actual kitchens are gorgeous, and the new dining/demo rooms were lovely once they were built. It’s always clean and tidy, and its very cute!
6. What did you think of the chef tutor team?
They were all amazingly helpful – if you had a question about something they would help you out. Mainly when it got to the written part of the course – if you needed help they would help you, which was very comforting!
7. What did you think of the course overall?
It was busy, hard-working, and tiring – but amazing. It may not give you quite a reality check compared to a busy restaurant kitchen, but it perfectly prepped me for what I wanted to do – and the Charity Dining event gave me the experience to know what to expect when going for trial days at restaurants. It gave me more than just confidence in cooking and baking, it helped me grow!
8. Did you feel more confident in your cookery after the course?
I felt 100% more confident – Even though I already know how to bake, it gave me the confidence to be more experimental in my baking, as well as cooking many more dishes at home for my family – I love it.
9. Were the qualifications important to you?
Yes I found them very helpful – when applying for jobs afterwards, they all found it useful that I was already food safety trained!
10. How have you used your cookery skills after you completed the course?
I am looking for premises to start making and selling cakes! I have started a blog/website www.janespatisserie.com where I write recipes for cakes and sweet stuff – I’m writing my first recipe book, and my website is very big compared to most having only done it for one year .
11. What are your plans for the future?
To have recipe books out, to have a bakery/restaurant, and to be my own boss!
12. Would you recommend the course to others?
I have already had many people ask about courses at Ashburton from them following my blog – I have emails weekly asking about the courses – and I always recommend it!
13. Do you have advice for others that are considering the course?
If you want somewhere that is comforting, but pushes you to be the person you can – then go for it. I didn’t think I would pass the course, but I did, and I am so glad they pushed me to get there. It has given me the confidence to start my own business, and I wouldn’t have done it without them!