Professional Cookery Apprentice Ellena Maher at the Rose & Crown restaurant

Cooking Up My Future at The Rose & Crown

By Ellena Maher, Professional Cookery Apprentice

For someone who’s as passionate about cooking as me, there is really only one choice of career, isn’t there? So, as a first step towards my goal, I was thrilled to get a Professional Cookery Apprenticeship at The Rose & Crown restaurant in Warwick.

Once a month, my tutor from Stratford-upon-Avon College, Jim, visits the restaurant to see me cook and prepare dishes.

I remember I was so nervous the first couple of times Jim came to visit me, as I felt I was being assessed and might be criticised. I shouldn’t have worried though. He instantly put me at ease and made it clear he is there to help and support my development. We discuss the month before which meals I will be preparing next, to give me time for practice and preparation.

I had already completed a full-time Catering course at Stratford-upon-Avon College, but my apprenticeship has driven me even further towards my goal of becoming a fully-trained chef. I have learnt so much and had great fun at the same time! The bonus of doing an apprenticeship is that I am earning my own money while I’m learning. I’m also guaranteed a job after the course has finished. What more could you ask for?

I get so much support from my Head Chef, Leon Higham, as well as the whole team at The Rose & Crown. Jim makes sure that I understand the tasks that I’m given and teaches me new skills that I can put straight into practice in the kitchen. I even enjoy my assessments – it doesn’t even feel like I’m being assessed, just having a lesson because it’s great fun!

An apprenticeship course is a fantastic opportunity to carry on studying whilst gaining valuable work experience with a regular salary. I would highly recommend choosing one!