Huthwaite trainee chef’s week at top restaurant

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A BUDDING chef from Huthwaite has Michelin stars in his eyes after doing work experience at one of the top restaurants in the country.

Sixteen-year-old Conan Brooks secured a week-long placement at Raymond Blanc’s ‘Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons’ restaurant in Oxfordshire - which has two Michelin stars.

Conan has been studying on-the-job for his Level 2 Award in Professional Cookery whilst working at the Charnwood Academy in Kirkby since September 2012.

The prestigious work experience opportunity came about when Conan responded to a tweet from Le Manoir offering placements.

Conan’s mentor for the week was Rhodri Williams, the Sous Chef Tournant at Le Manoir, where he’s been working for nine years.

On Conan’s first day, he was impressed with the slick way the kitchen operates but said he found the range of equipment a little overwhelming.

He said: “I’ve never even seen most of the equipment Rhodri has shown me, let alone used it! I didn’t realise kitchen equipment varied so much and I can’t wait to get stuck in.”

His experiences were documented on Twitter and in a blog, that was updated throughout the placement.

Rhodri was also impressed with his young protégé. He said: “Conan has proved to be calm, diligent and follow direction well. He has shown great promise throughout his work experience with us and we wish him the best of luck for the future.”

Following Conan’s achievement, the standard has now been set for other Charnwood apprentices to strive for.

The Charnwood Academy, which is based at Ashfield School’s Post-16 Centre, is being established as a Centre of Excellence for the hospitality industry in the East Midlands.

Conan also won the top prize in the Rotary International 2012/13 Young Chef of the Year Awards’ local heats. He will compete in the regional finals at the end of the mon