Chef Katie cooks for lunch club and talks about her apprenticeship
Young Welsh apprentice chef Katie Duffy was in the spotlight when she cooked for Llanelly House Lunch Club in Llanelli before speaking to the 30 guests about her journey as an apprentice in the hospitality industry.
Katie, 18, who was a Junior Chef of Wales finalist earlier this year, has recently joined Llanelli House as number two to head chef Simon Davies and is loving the new challenge.
She began her career as an apprentice chef at Stradey Park Hotel, Llanelli, following in the footsteps of her mum, Laura, who was once a waitress there.
Having completed her Applied Ability Awards (AAA) Chef Level 2 Foundation Apprenticeship with Cambrian Training Company, Katie plans to progress to the Professional Cookery Level 3 Apprenticeship.
In addition to the Junior Chef of Wales final, she has competed in Future Chef and Rotary competitions since the age of 13 and plans to continue competing to keep learning and progressing.
Her ultimate ambition is to open her own business, which will be a patisserie by day and a restaurant at night.
Llanelly House invites a guest chef to cook for Llanelli Rotary Club members at the Lunch Club every month and Katie reprised her Junior Chef of Wales final menu with a smoked salmon starter, braised pork main course and set vanilla pannacotta dessert.
Her training officer at Cambrian Training Company, Craig Bennett, was her commis chef for the day. “Craig is such a huge help to me,” said Katie. “I feel like he and my mum are my joint number one supporters.
“I am really enjoying the job and have been given more responsibility at Llanelly House where I run the kitchen when head chef Simon is off duty. He has taught me so much in the first month and I appreciate all the help that I am getting.
“I want to enter more competitions to better myself and I would love one day to be able to afford to attend École Ducasse, the famous culinary school in Paris to learn the pastry arts.”
Craig describes Katie as a model apprentice who is dedicated to learning and developing her skills. “She cooked a fantastic meal for the Rotarians and is progressing really well at Llanelly House where manager Mark Johns and head chef Simon Davies are so supportive.
“Katie is a fantastic ambassador for the Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship Programme and for Cambrian Training Company.”
The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.