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Sunday, 26 October 2014

Gordon Ramsay's head chef tells how he fell in love with cooking

GORDON Ramsay’s head chef at his world-famous Claridge’s restaurant took some time out of his hectic kitchen to give career advice to cookery students.

The eight teenagers from Furness College were invited to the eye-opening talk from Aussie chef Luke Rayment.

The experienced chef imparted his wisdom at Clarence House to the group of wannabe chefs. Mr Rayment, who works at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s, trained for 12 years in Brisbane, Australia, before moving to London. Although the Australian chef managed to realise his dream, he did not sugarcoat the path he took to get there.

Describing how tensions rise when service is heating up, he said: “Some of the chefs you will hate, but it is all for the best.”

Mr Rayment advised the keen students to persevere and be passionate and that they would succeed. He also urged the beginners to be as creative as they can with their cooking.

He said: “There are 1,001 ways to skin a cat – that is cheffing in a nutshell.”

Putting a fresh spin on a classic dish is key to becoming a top chef, he added.

“It’s all about how you can make it a little bit better,” he said.

The cook, who took part in the One Week Only event, left the kids awestruck when he spoke of new technique of infusing new flavours in fruit. The head chef explained that by “compressing” a rhubarb with flavours, such as sultanas, the taste and colour can be altered. Mr Rayment also explained that this “give it a go” attitude is what made him fall in love with cooking in the first place.

He said: “You can make food look like art. Cheffing is an amazing opportunity to do anything and everything that you want.”

Student Aaron Tomkinson was delighted to meet the top-class chef and said he was inspired to follow his dream of becoming a chef when he saw the enormous kitchens on a cruise ship last summer.

The 16-year-old Level One catering and hospitality student, from Barrow, said the masterclass talk was an “eye opener of what to expect”.

Hannah Dickinson has already taken her first step in her catering career by taking on a part time job in a kitchen. The talk about world-class kitchens left the 17-year-old from Askam inspired her to follow her culinary dream.

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