Carving out a successful career for himself within the hospitality industry, twenty-three year old Alistair Bennett from Paisley is proving to be a big hit in the kitchen.
Looking to enhance his skillset the ambitious Chef de Partie from Glasgow Airports Holiday Inn embarked on a Modern Apprenticeship (MA) in Professional Cookery with West College Scotland.
Alistair said, “I’d not long started in the hotel when I learnt about one of the other Chefs doing a modern apprenticeship. Always eager to learn and improve I was immediately interested.
“The modern apprenticeship presented the perfect opportunity for me to combine learning with that of full-time work.
“The course was really enjoyable and the fact that my lecturer came to the hotel to deliver the course was fantastic. Having previously studied cookery full-time, having the consistency of learning in the same environment every week was a bonus especially when it’s a kitchen you work in daily.”
Reflecting on his experience Alistair commented, “Comparing full-time study to that of the modern apprenticeship I’d have to say that for me the MA was much more valuable. It’s a relaxed atmosphere where you’re given much more scope to prepare and create dishes of your choice all within realistic time frames.
“I loved having the freedom to buy ingredients and to be inspired by them to create and cook new dishes that I wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to do. The course has allowed me to develop new skills and improve on the ones that I already had. It’s given me the confidence to be a better Chef and has inspired me to want to continue to progress.”
With his new found confidence and skills, Alistair applied for a Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) scholarship through his work.
After impressing the judges with his culinary skills and attitude to his work Alistair was awarded one of the prestigious scholarships that will see him spend five days in a Michelin star restaurant.
“The dates for my placement have still to be confirmed but it’s looking like I’m going to be working at the Old Course in St Andrews during the golf open.
“I’m really looking forward to it. To be working alongside Michelin star chefs for five days is an experience that every chef would love the opportunity to do. I have no doubt it will be very different to what I’m used to and I’m eager to learn as much as I can and take back new skills and ideas to my work place.”
With a promising future ahead this aspiring master chef has a lot to look forward to.