A Belfast Metropolitan College hospitality student had “an amazing time” getting tips from two of the UK’s top chefs after winning a major new bursary.
Patryk Sojka, 19, recently spent two weeks rubbing shoulders with Gordon Ramsay and Tom Kerridge. And the Glengormley student loved every minute of it.
He explained: “I had an amazing time. I was working in world class restaurants with world class chefs.
“I got involved as much as I could. It was hard and working long days really got to me, but I pushed through and really enjoyed it.”
Patryk spent a week in three of Gordon Ramsay’s finest London restaurants, Maze in Mayfair, London House in Battersea and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea, which has three Michelin stars.
And he then spent a further week in the kitchen of Tom Kerridge’s Hand in Flowers in Marlow, which has two Michelin stars.
The experience was part of becoming the first recipient of the Tesco Home Grown Talent Award. A key element of the Tesco-backed bursary is exposure to world class working environments.
Patryk added: “I have learnt a lot of new skills and techniques inspired by Michelin Star chefs.
“The trip really opened my eyes to the world of cooking and what it is like to work in world class restaurants.”
Caoimhe Mannion, Tesco NI marketing manager, said: “The Tesco Home Grown Talent Award demonstrates our support for new talent and world class people development and hopefully helping to nurture a Michelin Star chef.”
Tesco’s support for the award has kick-started an ongoing partnership which will see the company supporting many more Belfast Met initiatives.
Patryk is currently undertaking the NVQ Level 2 Professional Cookery course at Belfast Met’s Titanic Quarter campus and hopes to progress to Level 3. He also works part-time in a local restaurant.