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Jo’s a chef of distinction, thanks to Swatpro Academy’s tuition

Time and time again, apprentices learning their trade through Swatpro Academy overcome the obstacles of the Covid lockdown to triumph.

Jo Lugar is one young chef who has dealt with adversity to shine in her vocation.

Jo was working towards qualifying as a Commis Chef at The Hornsbury Mill hotel in Chard when the virus emergency closed the venue, leaving her furloughed.

“I gained a lot of experience and knowledge with hands-on cooking whilst working at Hornsbury Mill under two amazing chefs,” she recalls.

Her progress was noted by her tutor/assessor from Swatpro, Jenny Scott, who was impressed with Jo’s dedication.

“Jo she was a shy young lady, but full of passion for a career in catering,” Jenny remembers

“She never failed to complete assignments on time, assignments that were full of detail and understanding of our industry, and she put in a lot of research time, keeping up to date on industry trends.”

During the lockdown, Jenny kept in regular contact with Jo via WhatsApp, text messages and email.

Regular lessons took place with Jo focusing on her recipe log, using videos, PowerPoints supported by Jenny’s industry knowledge to complete the required criteria.

The discussion element of the Level 2 Apprenticeship was practised and Jenny could observe dishes come to life in Jo’s family kitchen.

After lots of revision for her End Point assessment (EPA), Jo was disappointed to learn that Covid regulations meant the independent assessors were unable to observe her at work and set the usual culinary challenge.

Nonetheless, they were able to assess Jo’s progress through a Q&A session and by scrutinising the evidence Jenny had submitted of her capabilities.

“Jo had a portfolio full of evidence and was able to paint a vivid picture in words about her duties in the kitchen, her capabilities and her knowledge,” Jenny explains.

The result was a distinction in all 4 assessment areas of the EPA.

Jo was thrilled: “Within the coursework I had extra notes and pieces of advice to help realise the high grades I was hoping for, and due to this I received four distinctions – more than I thought I could achieve!”

Unfortunately, the continuing hospitality shutdown meant Jo had to be made redundant from the Hornsbury Mill.

However, her superb apprenticeship has meant she has been able to find new work as a commis chef at Cricket St Thomas.

“The best thing about my apprenticeship was the ability to learn and appreciate training within the kitchen - experiencing different ideas and developing dishes to sell to the public,” Jo notes.

“My advice to all apprentices is to enjoy their work. You will receive amazing feedback and gain knowledge with the Swatpro Academy team.

“All through the course I was receiving the best tutoring possible from Jenny, which helped me to succeed in my chosen career and gave me the strength to believe in myself.”

On her side, Jenny is pleased at how the career of her learner has progressed.

“I am very proud of Jo and her achievements. Jo has been a pleasure to teach and watch grow,” she says.

Jo’s a chef of distinction, thanks to Swatpro Academy’s tuition