My name is Kerry. I am 29 years old and I study HNC: Professional Cookery (Patisserie). My favourite parts about the course is the sugar and chocolate work. We were able to create a chocolate sculpture made from modelling chocolate and using chocolate moulds. You also got to create scenes for on top of cakes; mine was a chocolate tree with rabbits and ducks at the bottom.
This course has been advanced and hands-on. Attention to detail is key when creating desserts or making cakes with a more intricate design, like how Michelin restaurants would work. We have a big assessment at the end of the year in which we design four different desserts of our own choice. It must contain 6 elements in that one plate, petit fours being one of them (something small to have with a coffee) and three other dishes. You are given it at the start of the year, so you are given a couple of months to prepare and complete the other aspects of the course such as pricing up your menus. You will be given a date to come into the main kitchen and you will be doing a service in which you are serving different customers in our campus restaurant (The Academy) with our desserts that are on the menu.
We run and organise the service; we tell the students how we want the desserts made and how they are meant to look. Then we approve the dish before it is served to our customers. We then receive feedback from the customers and the lecturer that runs the kitchen that day to evaluate how we ran the kitchen as they supervise everything that goes on.
The aspect of the course that I have enjoyed the most is the practical aspect. This year has been far more practical and in the kitchen as much as possible, after the last two years doing mostly paperwork and theory, due to covid. I do enjoy the more hands-on approach.
I was 16 when I had first joined the college to complete an NC Catering course which is the starting level of cookery, and this gives you an idea of everything you will cover within hospitality. From this course, I decided I wanted to be more front of house than in the kitchen. I then had kids, so left for a few years, but when I decided to come back, I decided to do another course to gain an HNC. When I looked into applying, they had the patisserie course available. It was a no brainer, as I love baking at home, so when this course became available, I knew I wanted to pursue my dream career therefore I applied.
I am considering opening my own business. Once I complete the course, I aim to find a job and could potentially study an HND to progress my skillset. However, owning my own business is my ultimate goal.
I would recommend this course. It’s fun, hands on, lecturers have immense patience and will help you with anything you may need.