Daisy Neale attended our Six Month Practical Cookery Diploma Course in September 2011, a year after she left school. Since then she has been hard at work, which has taken her throughout the UK and to Europe. We asked Daisy to tell us what she has been up to so far and this is what she had to say.
Where did your passion for food start?
My passion for food stemmed from my mother who is an excellent cook and always made everything in our house “from scratch” as our American friends used to say!
What encouraged you to undertake a cookery course?
When I was studying for my A-levels, in Maths, Economics and Physics, I felt I needed something more organic in my life. I decided that cooking was the way forward because with it I could travel and meet new people. I left school and took a year’s foundation diploma in Art and Design. After this, when I was 19, I took the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School Six Month Practical Cookery Diploma.
Why did you choose Edinburgh New Town Cookery School and what aspects of the course inspired you?
My mother found ENTCS, through much research, and decided due to Fiona’s knowledge and experience ENTCS would be a good fit.
Surprisingly for me I really enjoyed pastry, from breads, to sweet treats to pasta. Baking was something we never did growing up, the only time I can remember baking was with friends at their houses in my teens. But at Edinburgh New Town Cookery School pastry always seemed to work for me, aside from Brioche – still haven’t mastered that!
What are top things you learnt that have been most useful?
I believe everything I learned at ENTCS has been useful. We got taught so many different skills through cooking many different recipes so that now I am able to cook new recipes with complete confidence, knowing that I have been taught the skills to complete it at a high level.
How has your career developed since you left Edinburgh New Town Cookery School?
I have had a very varied and interesting career so far. After leaving ENTCS I worked for 18 months in a catering company in Edinburgh and then left to cook for a ski season. I have worked for 2 seasons with Meriski in Meribel and cooked in a restaurant in Frome, Somerset for 6 months. I was self employed for 3 years working in Courchevel, all over Scotland and England and abroad for a wide variety of wonderful clients. I am currently working in a house as a private chef.
What would you say to someone considering doing the same course as you?
It will be one of the best decisions you ever make, even if you don’t decide to go out into the big world of cooking it is a huge life skill that you will never lose.
Do you have any advice for newly qualified students?
Get as much experience as you can, even if you don’t think it’s a good fit, try it, and good agencies will do wonders for you if you work with them well.