Where are they now?

Make no mistake, it’s a hectic life running a busy cookery school, writing about cookery, handling the usual administration and trying to fit in a bit of social life occasionally. With so much going on it’s easy to miss many of the achievements of the business happening right under your nose. In my case, it took a peek at our website’s ‘Where are They Now?’ section to remind me what our students have gone on to achieve.

Around the world in a few mouse clicks

We’ve got this clever interactive map on the site; you click on a red dot and up pops a mini case study. A few mouse clicks on the page is a sure way to enjoy a virtual globetrotting experience that would make even a seasoned round-the-world traveller such a Michael Palin very envious.

Bartering for fresh food in Tahiti

Take Claire M for example, fixing farm machinery and bartering old clothes for fresh food in Tahiti after a 3-month yacht passage from Panama. Or Suzie R, another yacht chef who does culinary wonders in 30 knot winds off South Africa. Closer to home, Freddie and Reaveley’s chalet was voted best chalet in Meribel/Motarret – not least due to their fantastic cooking. And then there’s Iain P, rubbing shoulders with the stars in film location catering here in the UK. We wouldn’t be surprised to hear that he’s cooking in Beverly Hills one day.

The heart-warming loyalty of our ex-students

Looking through all the case studies on the site, one of the first things that struck me was the loyalty shown by our ex-students, and by the genuine affection that they show towards the school. After putting 1000 students through The Gables, we know how people’s careers (and lives) can be turned around. But to hear it from the students themselves, as they feed hungry après skiers in the Alps or fish for supper off a luxury yacht in Antigua, is immensely satisfying.

Transforming lives for ever

As so many students have shown, it is possible to come from very varied backgrounds, at all sorts of life stages, and build a strong foundation for a future career in catering. It takes a burning passion and it demands hard work and commitment. But time and time again we see raw ambition transformed into skill, experience and the kind of confidence that takes formerly reserved people around the world in a flash and transforms their lives for ever.

Forget recession, there are loads of catering positions around the world

And at a time when there’s so much talk about recession and economic gloom, it’s reassuring to know there are still lots of great careers to be built, often in very exotic parts of the world. Australia and Canada, for instance, are rich hunting grounds for ambitious people in catering, whether chefs or kitchen back-up staff. And there’s loads of scope for students to get into catering for super-rich high net-worth individuals, on yachts, as private chefs or in Alpine chalets.

From a cosy little bistro in Cheltenham to the galley of a round the world mega yacht, if someone has the passion and is willing to work hard we can almost always place them. How many other training courses can offer that these days?

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