Cookery students selected for once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with Rick Stein Academy

Working with the rising chefs of tomorrow, a leading professional cookery academy has revamped its programme to provide tailored mentoring and work experience by top local head chefs.

The Rick Stein Academy has been running at Truro and Penwith College in partnership with Rick Stein’s since 2015 but this year’s academy has been revamped to offer students even more career-boosting opportunities.

“Twelve students between Truro and Penwith campuses are chosen and given the opportunity to experience elite masterclasses while being mentored by one of the head chefs at Stein’s where they will complete their work experience,” said Rosie Wing, Rick Stein Academy Coordinator at the College.

“We’ve done the academy before but this is a great new version and the students are really looking forward to it. It’s tailored to individual needs and each student has really earned their place, it’s been great to see a variety of students being selected.”

The students were selected through a process of cover letters and interviews, which the students found to be a valuable experience regardless of the results.

Joe Barret, Level 2 Professional Cookery student at Truro College and new Stein’s Academy student, was thrilled with the opportunity, saying:

“The first part of the application was writing a letter stating who our inspirational head chef is and why we want to go into the industry. In the interview, they asked us similar questions to our letters so they could see what we were like in an interview and find out what our weaknesses are and what they can help us with, what we can build on. It was like going for a job interview so it was really good practice either way.”

The students began this incredible culinary opportunity with a visit to Rick Stein’s establishments in Padstow, where they were introduced to the business and asked which area they would like to gain their work experience in.

“It was great meeting the head chefs because we get to choose which area we want our work experience in. It’s great for work experience and looks really good on your CV. It’s one of those opportunities you don’t want to miss, a once in a lifetime chance to meet everyone and go into the actual kitchens,” said Joe.

Level 2 Professional Cookery student Zoe Thompson was equally excited about the scope of this opportunity, saying: “I’m most looking forward to trying new things plus it gets your name out there. If you ever want a job anywhere they’ll help.”

Hayley McKinstry, Programme Team Leader of Hair, Beauty, Complementary Therapies and Catering at the College, can’t wait to see the new academy unfold, saying: “We are delighted to be able to launch the new enhanced Rick Stein Academy Programme. This year, each student will be mentored by a head chef that will provide individual support and play a considerable role in their development. This will broaden their employment opportunities and teach them skills over and above those required within their qualification.”