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Leanne piping chocolate ganache on sponge cakes

“City College Norwich prepared me in so many ways and helped me by giving me confidence and skills that I still use today”

25th January 2019 – Tags: Student Stories

I first came to the college when I was 14 as part of their 14-16 provision. After completing this course, I joined the college full time to study professional cookery.

I decided to study at City College Norwich because the kitchens looked amazing and everyone was very welcoming and informative.

“I was doing something I was interested”

My course was different to the education I had received before because I was doing something I was interested in and wanted to learn.

The thing I enjoyed most about studying hospitality at the college was working in the Debut Restaurant. I loved the rush of service and the team work!

“College gave me friendships for life and got me out of my shell”

City College prepared me in so many ways - from being punctual with work, to being organised when cooking with plans, and to always keep clean in the kitchen.

College gave me friendships for life and good times I can look back on. It also got me out of my shell as I was so quiet when I started.  I think if they didn’t encourage me to speak up or work on succeeding on the course, I would not be as confident as I am today.

Becoming a contestant on Channel 4's Bake Off: The Professionals

After leaving college, I worked my way up to a point where I was working in the kitchens of 5-star hotels which saw me working at Hotel Café Royal and luxury hotel The Grove in Hertfordshire.

In 2018, I competed alongside Romain Tssr, head baker at Hotel Café Royal, on Channel 4’s Bake Off: The Professionals.

I think the best part of being on the Bake Off was the experience it gave me. I loved every minute of it and made so many friends who are all so talented.

After Bake Off, I returned to The Grove and am now working as their pastry sous chef.

“You gain so many skills by pushing yourself to learn”

The experience I have gained in my career so far has been wonderful!  You learn so much and gain so many skills by pushing yourself to learn. Now I know sugar, chocolate and cake decorating. 

I've had some really good pastry chefs teach me along the way, like Reece Collier from The Grove and Sarah Barber when I was at Hotel Café Royal.

I don't know what my next step will be yet but I always like to progress in my career and will always strive to learn and achieve my goals.

Eventually, I’d like to either be a head pastry chef or open my own little pastry shop.

“Anything's possible if you work hard for it”

City College Norwich helped me by giving me confidence and skills that I still use today. I am happy I went.

At the end of the day, however much effort you put in to your job or course, that's the experience you will take from it. If you push yourself far you can do whatever you want. 

I never thought I would be a pastry sous chef in a 5-star hotel at the age of 23 - but anything's possible if you work hard for it."  

Leanne De'ath, former Professional Cookery student, now working as a pastry sous chef at a luxury 5-star hotel after being a contestant on Channel 4's Bake Off: The Professionals

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