A second apprenticeship sees Liam cooking up a storm
Liam Frankish is one of many young people to have kickstarted their career with an apprenticeship overseen by Swatpro Academy.
Now, the enthusiastic 21-year-old is undertaking his second apprenticeship, overseen by Swatpro’s catering training expert Del Anning, and he’s loving it.
“I’m studying for my Level 3 Chef de Partie Apprenticeship and it has been an eye-opener as to how we do things in a certain way in the kitchen and how to get the best use of our local produce and best operating procedure,” he says.
Liam has worked at the popular Devon gastro-pub, the Phoenix in Chudleigh since he left school and completed his Level 2 Commis Chef Apprenticeship there in 2019.
“If you’d told me when I was at school I’d work as a chef, I’d have laughed,” he admits, “But now I love it; it’s very involved and creative. What I thought at first as a temporary job is now a career and I’d like to go on to work at as high a level as I can.”
His ambitions may well come true, with the Phoenix’s head chef, Ian Nixon, branding Liam an “exceptional” young chef.
“I’ve learned such a lot from Ian. He really knows the trade and understands the business. Now I am in a position where I can run the service here, when Ian’s away, and I can plan menus and come up with my own ideas and suggestions,” Liam explains.
Chef de Partie training has given Liam an insight into sourcing the best produce, using time efficiently and minimising waste, as well as further cooking techniques. A placement, arranged by Ian at a Michelin-starred hotel in Bath, also expanded the young chef’s skills.
Del Anning is also providing this talented chef - who is by his own admission ‘not academic’ – with functional English and Maths skills as part of his apprenticeship.
“Del’s really helped me there. He just has a good way of explaining things. I’ve learned things that I didn’t at school, which will all help me with my job,” Liam notes.
Liam says he likes the way Swatpro Academy’s approach is tailored to the individual – “they fit around you, rather than having a fixed way of doing things” – and he has recommended the training provider to friends, some of who are now studying under Del.
“It’s been great. I finish the apprenticeship in November/December time and I know I’ll have the skills I need to go on work in kitchens with Michelin stars and rosettes. I’ve learned such a lot.”