|JAMES HORNBY looked upon his apprenticeship in the kitchens at Warwick Conferences as “just a job” in the early days . . . but now he is passionate about pursuing a career as a top chef.|
So much so, in fact, that the 20-year-old from Canley has just won the Coventry and Warwickshire Junior Chef of the Year Award and now has the appetite for greater success in the profession.
James beat off competition from other promising young chefs from the region to claim his first honour in the prestigious Coventry and Warwickshire Food and Drink Awards held at Henley College.
And he was quick to acclaim the support received from colleagues, particularly Group Executive Chef Graham Crump, award-winning Stuart Phillips and Keith Taylor, in changing his outlook.
“When I first started my apprenticeship, I just viewed it as a job and I didn’t really know where it was going to take me,” he explained. “But now I am really passionate about being a chef.”
“I’ve had a lot of support and encouragement from people here and I can see that being a chef has great career prospects.”
He added: “Certainly, now that I’ve had my first taste of competition, I want more of it and hope to achieve more success.”
Participants in the competition had to use local produce in putting together one dish and so James opted for Warwickshire rack of lamb with quince chutney, pea puree and mint pesto for his entry.
He was then invited to the Henley College competition where he was up against seven other young chefs, having just 45 minutes to impress the judges with his preparation of the dish.
Graham Crump, Group Executive Chef at Warwick Conferences, said: “We are delighted with the progress James has made over the past few months and this is his reward for that hard work.
“While the standards of service we achieve at Warwick Conferences are of the greatest importance to us, it is very encouraging for the whole team when we achieve recognition of this kind.”
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