SHEFFIELD cabinet member Jackie Drayton enjoyed a taste of life in a city centre restaurant as she helped mark the start of National Apprenticeship Week.
She donned a chef’s whites to join appren-tice chef Tim Houghton at the Bar and Grill in Leopold Square, seeking to gain a flavour of the 19-year-old’s training regime.
Tim, from Bradway, gained his interest in cooking from his mum, who worked in catering and encouraged him to help her with the family baking.
He is studying for his Level 2 Apprenticeship Award through Sheaf Training, which delivers training for the council’s Lifelong Learning, Skills and Communities Service.
Tim said: “I love the work here – it’s so much fun, although it can be stressful at times. Everyone gets on really well and it’s a brilliant place to work. The staff and management are really supportive, so it’s like working in a family.
“It’s been an eye-opener seeing how busy the kitchen gets and how many dishes we have to prepare and cook in such a short time but the support and guidance I receive from chef reminds me everything is going to be fine and I will get there.
“It’s a relief to see the dishes completed and all checks finished. It’s an amazing feeling when I have cooked a dish and compliments to the chef come back into the kitchen. This has been the best experience of my life so far and I would love to run my own restaurant one day.”
It is the National Apprenticeship Week’s fifth year and it has grown every year since.
Coun Drayton, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “I love watching cooking programmes on TV and have seen just how hectic things can be behind the scenes of even the most prestigious restaurants. It’s so important to give young people the opportunity to learn new skills by gaining experience in the workplace and achieving a valuable qualification.”