In light of this year’s scholarship award launch, we speak with last year’s winner, Katie Leslie to find out how it felt to win.
How has winning the UKSA 2015 changed you?
I am definitely more motivated than ever to become the best chef I can be. Punctuality has never been my strong point but this course has certainly changed that for me! I think that’s down to waking up and really looking forward to what I am going to be doing.
How did it feel to win/ how did you family take the news?
I was completely shocked when I heard my name being announced, I think it took a good few weeks for the reality of what and amazing opportunity I had just been given to sink in. My family were extremely proud and excited for me but unfortunately I don’t think my parents have quite forgiven me for telling them ‘not to bother coming to London for the final as I had no chance of winning!’
What’s been the best part of the Diplôme de Cuisine so far?
To be honest I have enjoyed every day but some of my favourite parts have been the butchery and working with fish, it’s something I have never really done before so it has been brilliant to learn. It’s a great working environment with fantastic teachers and a real mix of students to learn from.
Why do you think people should apply this year?
I think people should definitely apply, as it is an unbelievable opportunity to attend one of the best culinary schools in the world. I think if you have a real love of cooking and can see yourself forming a career in the future Le Cordon Bleu is a fantastic platform for entering the industry. The teaching is fantastic and it is a brilliant place to learn…an opportunity not to be missed!
Have your plans for the future changed at all since winning the scholarship?
I always hoped to have a successful career as a chef but I think studying at Le Cordon Bleu has really motivated me to work hard to be successful and to really consider what I want for my future. It certainly reinforces my love for cooking and whilst it teaches you so much it makes me realise how much there is to learn and how many different avenues you can go down in a career as a chef. After the course I plan to get some good restaurant experience, learn as much as possible and progress through the kitchen ranks. I would love to open a small restaurant in Edinburgh later on in life but who knows what will happen, I just know that I want to keep improving my skills and try to make some nice food along the way!
By winning our scholarship, Katie Leslie earned a place studying for our prestigious Diplôme de Cuisine and Diploma in Culinary Management, with accommodation in London provided for the duration of their studies by urbanest. In addition, the scholarship winner will work alongside Michelin-starred Chef Phil Howard as an intern in his restaurant The Square in London.
To apply for this lifetime opportunity, please visit: ukscholarship.cordonbleu.edu/
All you need is passion, we’ll teach you the rest!