From the age of 14 I always knew that I wanted to be a chef I chose Home economics as one of my options for my GCSES and it was no going back from there.
After school in 1994 I studied at South Trafford college (now Trafford college) and studied for 6 years gaining a range of qualifications, my highest being NVQ Level 4 in pastry and confectionery. It soon became apparent that I had a great intrest and passion for the pastry and confectonary side of the hospitality industry. I was amazed by the depth of the subject and each of the different areas “this topic is limitless I thought to myself”. I was lucky enough to have one of the best pastry tutors around. “Mark Apsley-Hooper” who taught me not only the skills to be a pastry chef but also life skills and the attiduded needed to survive in a male dominated industry.
In 1998 While still at college the Trafford Centre in Manchester opened, I was lucky enough to get a job as a commis Pastry chef in Selfidges, working with a crazy French chef who I am still friends with now. After college in 2000 I moved to London working at the” Sheraton Park Tower hotel” on Knightssbridge, “The Savoy hotel” on the Strand and a restaurant on Old Burlington street in Mayfair called “The Embassy” . Each of these places gave me a new challenge and I learned different things about the industry and life . The Embassy restaurant taught me the most about fine dine food and I can honestly say that,that was the best food I have made throughout my career . I met some amazing people whom are still my friends now dotted all around the world.
In 2003 I decided it was time to leave London pack a rucksack and to go and live on the other side of the world in Australia. I went there on a working holiday visa so could travel and work to fund my trips. All my jobs were in Sydney and I learnt a lot about the freshness of the food and how Asian and Italian cuisine influenced the modern Australian menus . This was also the first time in my life I ate fish that had not been deep fried and actually enjoyed it. When my visa ran out in 2004 I went home to Manchester and worked in a little restaurant I met one of best friends here . I soon got granted a sponsorship visa and returned to Sydney in August 2005 working at the “Park Hyatt Hotel” on Sydney Harbour. Starting as a pastry Chef de partie then working my way up to assistant pastry chef ( sous chef ). This has to be the highlight of my career, we served good food in a 5 star luxury hotel. I was happy with my job and loved the people I worked with. What I great team that miss every day. We made all the bread, criossants, danish pastries, cakes, ice cream, desserts and petti fours serving all the A list celebrities that stayed in Sydney, tourists and locals. I was lucky enough to spend 3 New eves working at the hotel. Just before Mid night all the hotel staff would get a beer and glass of champagne and get in the lift to the open rooftop function area. We would watch the fireworks and hug and kiss each other but something was missing.
In May 2008 I returned home due to having enough of sunshine, laughter and lolly pops. To a lovely grey rainy Manchester. The reason why I came home was because most of the people I care about and love in the world, live in England and I missed them too much. I found it extremly hard settling back into life in Manchester it must of took a good one- one and half years before I stopped thinking lets go back and became settled. As an added welcome home present I arrived back in England just as the recession hit, however I was lucky enough to get a job as pastry sous chef at the Lowry hotel.
I worked there for a few months before my college tutor Mark called me asking me if I would like to go and teach with him. The call couldn’t of come at a worse time as I was at a music festival and myself and a couple of friends had lost our tents that we had pitched plus we were dragging half a car load of camping gear around with us. After the festival and I had a little time to think I said yes. I had never thought about being a teacher before and decided it would be a good move if not a little scary.
Since October 2008 I have been teaching and assessing part time at Trafford college while trying out a few other jobs to pay the bills (those damm bills) eg waitressing, Avon rep and Christmas sales assistant at Hotel Chocolat.
In May 2012 I decided to take Sweet and Beautiful public by attending local farmers markets and wedding fayres. There is also work in progress for a on-line shop that can be found on my website http://www.sweetnbeau.com.