TWO budding chefs who have started work at Droitwich’s Gardeners Arms pub whilst training at Heart of Worcestershire College have spoken about their roles.
Shannon Sheffington and Kye Poole were both employed as glass collectors at the popular pub on Vines Lane and after mentioning their interest in cooking, they were given extra posts in the kitchen to complement the course they are on.
Both went to Droitwich Spa High School and are undertaking a Diploma in Professional Cookery at the Worcester college.
Shannon said: “The cooking is something I got into.
“I didn’t really know what I wanted to do after completing my GCSEs but I mentioned it to Simon (the landlord) and he gave me the opportunity.”
Kye added: “I did a lot of baking for family and friends and was always trying things out at home.
“I made things at school in years ten and 11 at school and when I took them back everyone said how much they enjoyed them.”
The pair attend their lessons in the week and then work at the Gardeners Arms at the weekends where they prepare salads and vegetables and put together fillings for the venue’s now famous pies.
First up on the course they have been learning about how to make soups, broths and sauces and will soon be moving on to classics, including roast chicken and beer-battered fish and chips.
Kye said his favourite dish was lasagne, while Shannon’s was the chicken goujons.
Both also like the way they are doing a job which complements their course as well as providing them with spending money, rather than having a college or sixth-form course and completely unrelated weekend employment.
Kye said: “A lot of people go to sixth-form so they can get to university which is fine if they are academic but there are other options out there.
“I wasn’t that good at exams and enjoyed the practical side a lot more which is what this enables me to do.”
Shannon wants to eventually work as a chef on cruise ships and Kye wants to take his culinary skills to the Royal Air Force (RAF).
Gardeners Arms duty manager and chef Richard Chapman who has been teaching them the tricks of the trade said: “They have been fantastic.
“Although they are only a few weeks into the course they have both really come out of their shell since they started.
“They bring some great ideas to the table – some of them work, some of them don’t but that’s what it is all about.
“Without trying something new, nothing is ever created and Shannon and Kye are already better than a lot of people I have worked with over the years.
“It’s a good environment for creativity here and I’m tipping them for big things,” he added.