With cuisine training at Le Cordon Bleu London, Tess Ward started a career as a chef and food writer focusing on healthy and nutritious foods. She is now consultant for renowned brands such as Fortnum and Mason, Itsu, Grey Goose and Kallo, and has also worked in the kitchens at River Cottage, The Ritz, and often host VIP dinners for clients such as Alice Temperley, Michael Kors, Mulberry and other brands.
Her first cookbook ‘The Naked Diet’ celebrates everyday food that’s good for your body, your mind and your health was published in 2015.
Why did you choose to come to Le Cordon Bleu London and study the Diplôme de Cuisine? "So while I was at university, I fell in love with cooking and I wanted to grow my knowledge. I wanted to learn more about preparation and formal skills, and having researched loads of different courses, I felt Le Cordon Bleu had the best. You know very, very classical french techniques. I wanted to learn the skills and I felt that it would be the best place for me to do that."
How did Le Cordon Bleu London help you develop your cooking and subsequently your career? "For sure it gave me a lot of good understanding about food preparation, and technique, and skills, but it also helped with planning. I'm a lot cleaner. I'm definitely a more patient cook thanks to them.
"So after I left the school I started writing about food quite a lot, I was sharing recipes via my website, I wrote a column for Grazia for a while and done restaurant reviews.
"Luckily now I have gotten to the point where I have a book out. When I got the hand copy of it, I cried because that's what I wanted to achieve, even when I was studying here, I wanted to bring out a cookbook. It's been really great, I feel really, really lucky."
How important do you think it is to obtain a culinary qualification to enter the industry? "I think having a good formal training is really important. It definitely makes you credible and people respect you in the industry."
What advice would you give to someone looking to enter the industry? "Food is a pleasure and a delight, and cooking is so fun. If you're going to do this as a job, you want to do it in an area that you really love, that's the most important thing."