Maria Lima, from Portugal, took the Six Month Practical Cookery Diploma in April 2015. She worked in Edinburgh for over a year before returning to Portugal. Her career is going from strength to strength. Maria told us why she chose the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School.
Where did your passion for food start?
My passion for food started when I was a little girl and at age of 10 I used to cook simple food for my parents and sister. For a while I wasn’t so interested in food and then I was looking for a change in career and I realised that it could be my future career.
What encouraged you to undertake professional training?
My friends and family encouraged me to go into cooking and so I decided to do a professional course first as it is the best way to start a career! At first I looked for a course in Portugal but the options available were too long for me as I was changing my career and didn’t want to take years out to study. I was looking for a very practical course that would teach me how to work in kitchens. I have a degree in Management and I was happy to study the theory and background to cooking as well as the cooking itself. I really enjoy it and it is something I want to keep doing for the rest of my life.
Why did you choose Edinburgh New Town Cookery School?
I looked at the website first and when I visited the school I realised it was the best place to do my course as it is very efficient and professional.
What aspects of cookery inspired you?
Pastry and baking, presentation, improvising etc.
What are the top things you learned whilst at ENTCS that have been most useful to you?
Everything! My experience in cookery was very limited and I used to cook simple food, which could not compare to the style of cooking I learnt in ENTCS. We learnt lots of different techniques and the science behind cooking, which has helped me in my career!
What are you doing now?
After working in a restaurant in Edinburgh for a year I came home to Portugal. At the moment I am in Douro Valley and I am the chef and the hospitality manager of a Vineyard residence (Quinta da Gricha). www.churchills-port.com/quinta-da-gricha/ I also have my own project Zeli’s Kitchen where I use my imagination and I do some workshops for kids, cakes etc. https://www.facebook.com/ZeliKitchen/ I would recommend anyone to do the course at Edinburgh New Town Cookery School. It will open a new world to them! If they do the course I would say study hard because it is worth it and so important for their future.