Case Study 8: Laura R
A brief background to yourself...where from what you were doing before you came to the school?
I decided to take a gap year after school before university. I didn’t have a complete plan, but many of my friends had done a ski season and had absolutely loved it. I have enjoyed cooking from a young age and grew up in a home with lots of hospitality.
What led you to think about doing a cookery course?
The cookery course I thought would open up a lot of opportunities, I already knew how to cook some dishes but going back to basics and learning the correct way of producing a dish to high standards seemed like a good idea.
Why you decided to come to the Gables? Had you considered any other schools for example?
I chose the Gables first because of the location the south and secondly because of the price. The month long course seemed to be good value for money compared to some of the other schools that I had looked at for example Leiths and The Orchards. The idea of being in London was great but there was no accommodation, although the commute to London is not too far from my home, it was just an added hassle.
What the experience was like for you - how it affected you? particularly your level of confidence? What you actually got out of the course.
I really enjoyed the course and got on really well with the people that were on the same course, many of the people I still talk to. At first the experience was nerve racking and I didn’t know what to expect but once we were in the kitchen and discussed why we were all there it seemed like we had known each other for ages. My cookery skills went back to basics and rocketed through the roof. I never thought I was capable of cooking such delicious meals. Duck with berry sauce. I felt confident to cook for anyone and to cook anything just by following The Gables Bible
What you did next what successes and failures you experienced?
After the cookery course I went back home and worked in a hotel just waitressing, however at the end of the course I had an Interview with First Choice to be a chalet host. There were two of us that were offered a job with them, but we wouldn’t start at the beginning of the season but in January. I then organised another interview with Ski Esprit part of Total ski. My interview went really well and I got offered the job, they asked for you to bring in some cooking and gave you recipes so I chose chocolate brownies but decided to cook my version and some of theirs for a comparison. The interviewer was impressed with my initiation to cook two types and bring them both in.
I did a ski season with First Choice in Alpe D’Huez in France starting at the beginning of the season, it was the best thing that I have ever done, so much fun and the cooking was easy as I had learnt how to prepare food efficiently so that I would have more time on the ski slopes.
...and finally what you plan to do longer term?
I went to university afterwards in Bournemouth to study Hospitality Management, currently still there and looking for a placement. The Gables keeps you up to date even three years later and has helped me with contacts to look for a placement.
My main goal is to have my own business within the hospitality industry mainly cooking for small groups of people or canapés. I have catered for a wedding party, a buffet and canapés for 40 people. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would do it all again.
I really enjoyed my experience with the Gables and would definitely recommend it to anyone that would like to learn how to cook or just to brush up on their technique.