Hannah Innes completed the Six Month Diploma at Edinburgh New Town Cookery School in 2014.
Since then she has been working hard in the kitchens of fine dining establishments in Edinburgh to hone the skills she learnt at the Cookery School. She now runs her own business and works as a freelance chef. Here she explains how she turned her hobby into her career.
If you want to contact Hannah about a cooking job you can do so via her facebook page https://www.facebook.com/hannahinnescooks/
“My interest in food started in my mid teens. I have always been a very hands-on, practical and creative sort of person, so to be able to experiment with an endless supply of ingredients and make something beautiful out of it, excited me. I believe the dishes you make say a lot about you.
Having had no real interest in anything other than cooking, I was very keen to find out where my hobby could take me and what I had yet to learn. Not only was the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School close to where I lived, I could find no other school that could offer the same level and diversity of teaching; from traditional dishes, to new techniques and cooking fashions. Each teacher gave his or her own twist to each of the dishes, which taught me how there is not only one-way of ‘good cooking’.
What inspired me the most about cooking is how much I could potentially affect someone, in the sense of what my food can do for you and your body. I have always been interested in what certain products do to you, whether it is because of dietary requirements e.g. lactose intolerant, gluten free or certain allergies, or what foods are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ for you.
With a huge interest in health and nutrition, being able to explore exactly what the body needs and why inspires me to create dishes that will hopefully help others to choose a healthier lifestyle. I have learnt that every chef has their own set of skills and styles of cooking, and just because you may not necessarily be good at one aspect that does not mean you’re not good enough to take your own skills forward to achieve whatever it is you want to achieve.
Having completed my diploma at the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School a couple of years ago, I moved on to working in fine dining and 5 star establishments. Taking what I learnt at the school, and each individual workplace, I gathered the information and confidence to set up my own business, working for myself as a private chef. I don’t think I would be in this position now if it were not for the people I met and trained with along the way.
I would advise anyone that is looking to either start up a career in catering, or just to develop your skills at cooking, this course can set you up for either.
From day courses, to 6 months diplomas, the Edinburgh New Town Cookery has something for everyone.
For any newly qualified students, the advice I would give is to go out and learn as much as you can, challenge yourself, take risks, experiment, always enjoy what you’re doing, and be proud of it.”