Apprenticeships at Stoke by Nayland Resort
Stoke by Nayland Resort is working in partnership with Colchester Institute to offer Level 2 and 3 apprenticeships to young chefs and catering professionals looking to advance their career in the hospitality industry.
With multi-award-winning Executive Head Chef Alan Paton heading up the programme, along with his talented and dedicated team, we are pleased to offer this unique opportunity to ambitious young chefs who are looking to get the best start to their careers.
Not sure if hospitality is the right industry for you? Read on to find out more about Alan and what an apprenticeship at Stoke by Nayland Resort has to offer.
Industry veteran and culinary wizard, Alan has enjoyed an incredibly successful career in catering, spanning over 20 years. From cruise ships to 5-star hotels and AA Rosettes, there are few who can offer more insight, guidance and support to trainee chefs. Alan has trained some of the best in the industry and helped countless apprentices go on to enjoy incredibly successful careers.
So, we’ve asked him why he would recommend Stoke by Nayland’s apprenticeship programme to someone venturing down this career path.
What made you choose a career in hospitality?
Growing up in a family that has dedicated themselves to the hospitality industry, it seemed somewhat inevitable that I would choose this direction for my own career. This is an amazing industry to be part of. I saw from an early age watching my family graft away building their wee empire on the west coast of Scotland how much they put into it. My dad was the head chef, a true workhorse. I took his work ethic and built on it. The man never stopped, he was my legend, he was up there with the best in my eyes. I wanted to be just like him. I buried myself in reading his weekly editions of Caterer and Hotelkeeper, borrow his cookbooks to read. Whenever he took us out for dinner or he cooked at home it was always an event, theatre. What’s not to fall in love with that!
What’s been your proudest achievement?
Every single young chef that I have been able to influence, teach, advise, just help. That’s what matters the most, it’s the passing on of experience and knowledge.
What key skills does a chef need?
Above all, you need to be willing to work hard, listen, watch and learn from the team around you. Take notes, ask questions, interact, get involved.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
For me personally, it’s the chance to develop young chefs and watch them go on to achieve amazing careers for themselves. Not only that, there is no better feeling than being part of a close-knit team that supports and pushes each other to deliver incredible and creative dishes. I know it’s a cliché, but the team around you really does become an extended family.
What advice would you give someone thinking of pursuing a career as a chef?
Always strive to improve every single day. With the right attitude, your team will always be by your side pushing you to be the best you can be. Hospitality really is a fantastic, fun industry to work in if you’re willing to get stuck in and listen to those teaching you.
And as a very wise man once said to me “always remember, all you need is a hot oven and light fingers”
Why Stoke by Nayland?
There are very few places where you can experience working in 3 very different styles of restaurant in addition to catering for a diverse range of functions and events. Also, being a family-owned and run business, it’s an incredibly supportive environment that strives to deliver the highest level of customer service. It’s the perfect environment for people to grow and thrive in.
How it works:
- You’ll be trained and mentored by our Executive Head Chef and work alongside an incredibly talented and knowledgeable hospitality team
- You will learn classical techniques to prepare and present fresh produce to the highest standard
- A mixture of enrichment and college days and on-the-job learning
- The programme runs for 12 months
- Upon successful completion of your apprenticeship, we pledge to employ you full time as part of the team
Who’s it for
- School leavers
- People looking to change their career
- Ambitious people looking for the best foundation to start or advance their career as a chef
- Someone wanting to earn as they learn
How to apply
- Apply online with CV and covering letter sent to [email protected]
- Initial interview with Chef Paton
- Kitchen tour and assessment.