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Hospitality Apprenticeship Week case study: Alex

5th August 2019 – Tags: Apprenticeships, Catering, Commis Chef, Hospitality, Hospitality Apprenticeship Week

“There are so many opportunities.  I would like to travel the world and learn as many different cuisines as I can”

Alex Sawyer, Commis Chef at Kings Arms, Fleggburgh, Norfolk

Commis Chef Apprenticeship with City College Norwich

Alex Sawyer and Mark Dixon (head chef, the King’s Arms Fleggburgh)

Alex Sawyer and Mark Dixon (head chef, the King’s Arms Fleggburgh)

 

Alex Sawyer, 19, works in the kitchens of the Kings Arms, Fleggburgh, under the tutelage of award-winning head chef Mark Dixon.  He originally went to work there as a pot washer, as a part-time and summer job during his A Levels.  However, a year into his A Level studies, Alex realised that the opportunity to train to be a chef in a fine dining restaurant held a lot of appeal for him.  He says:
There’s camaraderie in the kitchen, it’s a high standard of dining, and everyone’s always pushing each other to make sure we’re improving.  That’s what I wanted.  Every day is different - you might be making consommés, veloutés, emulsions – you don’t get bored of it.  I like how intricate it all is, that really interests me, the fact that it takes time and that people really appreciate your work.”
Alex adds that he couldn’t have had more support with the Apprenticeship, from his employer and the City College Norwich staff.  He now plans to take his training to the next level, through a Level 3 Apprenticeship, and sees an exciting future ahead in the industry:           
There are so many opportunities.  I would like to travel the world and learn as many different cuisines as I can, go to China and learn Asian cuisine, go to Spain and learn Spanish cuisine.  People always need to eat, so you’ve always got a job as a chef and you can learn in so many different environments and travel with this profession.” 
Head Chef, Mark Dixon, is in no doubt that Alex can realise all his ambitions:
Alex never seemed like an Apprentice, because he was that good from the start, and he quickly took on new responsibilities within the kitchen.  Through the Apprenticeship he now understands everything in the recipes, why we do what we do: the importance of using the best ingredients, from scratch; the methods; getting the times and temperatures exactly right.  He’ll only get better and I am sure that one day he will have his own place.”