Hospitality Apprenticeship Week case study: Ellie
“Everybody wants her in their kitchen on a match day, which is testament to how good she is as a member of our team”
Ellie Bland, Pastry Chef at Delia’s Canary Catering
Commis Chef Apprenticeship with City College Norwich
Ellie works in the pastry kitchen at Delia’s Canary Catering, preparing dishes for Delia’s Restaurant & Bar and the wide range of events held at Norwich City Football Club.
Having enjoyed baking from a young age, Ellie first came to Delia’s to do work experience. This led to her joining Delia’s large bank of casual staff who work on match days.
After finishing her GCSEs, Ellie opted to pursue her interest in cooking and baking, through an Apprenticeship, rather than staying on in high school sixth form.
My school was very into sixth form, so I was one of the only people who was looking at Apprenticeships. At that age it’s a scary decision, I wasn’t really sure if that was the best option for me, but looking back it definitely was. I’ve learnt so much more here than if I’d gone to sixth form. I’ve gone straight into a job and learnt on the job. I don’t have to now think about getting a job in the future. It’s definitely worth it.”
She says the variety of experiences available through Delia’s has been a real benefit:
I really enjoy what I do. I obviously enjoy cooking and baking. I get on with everyone I work with, it’s a really nice environment working here. I’m very lucky working here because instead of working in just one restaurant, I get to work in lots of different restaurants, so I get to experience lots of different types of cooking and ways of working, and people to work with.”
Ellie adds that she has “developed massively” as a result of doing the Apprenticeship:
When I first came here I was quite quiet. I could make a basic cake, but then you need to know the allergens in it, how to make that cake off-by-heart, you need time management skills as well, and you learn to work as part of a team - I’ve definitely improved in all of those.”
Delia’s Canary Catering Back of House Manager, Molly Todd, has seen Ellie make huge strides since she first came to Delia’s for that initial work experience placement at the age of 15:
To see her grow and develop and progress has been phenomenal, amazing. She’s come so far as a person, and is so confident, and everybody wants her in their kitchen on a match day, which is testament to how good she is as a member of our team.”
Ellie is looking forward to continuing to develop and progress with Delia’s. Longer term, she sees her career continuing in the food industry and is keen to develop her interest in nutrition.