Elliot enjoys a taste of Raymond Blanc’s Cookery School

School may be out for the summer, but for a young chef from The Assheton Arms in Downham, learning hasn’t stopped for the holidays.

18-year-old Elliot Mullins has just returned from a week’s work experience at Raymond Blanc’s Cookery School at Belmond Le Manoir in Oxford where he worked alongside leading chefs including Head of the Cookery School, Mark Peregrine, who began his own career as an apprentice at Raymond’s first restaurant, Les Quat'Saisons.

Elliot, who is studying for an NVQ3 in Catering at Blackburn College, asked bosses at The Assheton Arms if they would support him in applying for a week’s work experience at the cookery school over the summer.

“I wanted to use the summer break from college to continue to learn new cookery skills and I am really grateful to my bosses at The Assheton Arms and Seafood Pub Company that they supported me,” said Elliot whose dad was a chef in the Navy.

“Le Manoir is a very successful restaurant and, just like The Assheton Arms, it prides itself on using local, seasonal produce on its menus. I loved having the opportunity to learn from chefs who specialised in different parts of the menu such as cold starters, mains and butchery and help to produce some new dishes.

“Hopefully I can build on what I learnt at Le Manoir as I finish my training at Blackburn College and further my career with the Seafood Pub Company.”

Career development for front of house staff and chefs is high up on the menu for the management team at the Seafood Pub Company, with apprentice chefs regularly being rewarded with promotions to full-time positions and bar staff having the opportunity to progress to management roles.

“We encourage our staff to seek opportunities which will enable them to grow their careers with us,” added Joycelyn Neve, managing director of the Seafood Pub Company. “We believe it is important for our young talent to experience working in different environments and it is really pleasing that Elliot came to us actively seeking a development opportunity. We are always pleased to support staff who want to develop their careers with us and who are committed to a career in the hospitality industry. Elliot made the most of this prestigious opportunity and is looking forward to continuing to learn and develop under the guidance of our senior chefs.”