Apprenticeship success story: Stephen Buck, Chef at Miller & Carter

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When I left school, I didn't know what I wanted to do. I went to college and did engineering and maths, but realised I loved food and cooking. I started looking for chef’s jobs and saw the advert with M&C, had an interview and got the job.

I started as a starter chef, doing preparation in the morning. I then progressed in the kitchen; getting more shifts and hours, and working in the grill section helping the most experienced chef in the business. I started cooking the steaks, running shifts myself and helping with the management of the kitchen. I took it very seriously - building my knowledge by reading the manuals. 

There is a second kitchen and private dining room upstairs which were rarely being used as the room was not well advertised. We started advertising it, and more and more people started hiring the room. Over Christmas I ran it for about 2 months, and now it is known as "Stevie's kitchen" I set up a raw prep area up there after speaking to the GM and RBM - taking my initiative from what I learnt in the safety manual.

I was recommended to progress onto the management course next. I have now just finished food production and cooking, and am going to start the management programme with Dee very soon.

The apprenticeship has really helped me cement my skills, and provided me with a superior knowledge of the process and systems in the kitchen. I have had plenty of support with Dee, who's always there to help me and if I need to speak to her. She has been motivating me and encouraging me to get my work in so I can keep progressing. 

5-10 years' time I will be running my own kitchen, I want to progress up as quickly as possible up through the ranks.

I would recommend it to other people, best way to learn an actual career. I am not sat in a classroom learning theory, I am reading my books then jumping into the kitchen and putting it into practice, learning on the job.

 

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