Two former Manchester Academy students are learning the tools of the trade after starting their chef apprenticeships at the prestigious Midland Hotel.
Aaron Edwards and Carlos Lara-Addo are enjoying their new roles after completing their final year at Manchester Academy in Moss Side this summer.
It’s all thanks to the charity Gettalife Project, who set up the apprenticeships with Brian Spark, Head Executive Chef at the Midland Hotel.
Potential candidates were asked to express their passion and interest in catering and food preparation by providing an application letter, followed by working a full week at the Manchester hotel, supervised by the Midland’s Sous Chef.
Mr Spark complimented Aaron and Carlos on their courtesy, their willingness to learn and their hard work.
He said: “They are doing a great job so far. It’s a big step to go from school life into this fast paced industry, but they are fitting in very well.
“Both Aaron and Carlos have been working in the banqueting section with seven chefs, which can involve catering for up to 700 people. They are keen and they’re interested in learning – they’ve definitely got that spark and enthusiasm,” Mr Spark said.
Aaron and Carlos are enjoying learning lots of new techniques from the rest of the team in the Midland Hotel’s extensive kitchen.
Aaron said: “I’ve learnt lots of new recipes and I’ve also picked up a range of skills from everybody I’m working with.”
Carlos added: “I really like the atmosphere in the kitchen. Everybody has been very nice and helpful.”
To mark the start of their apprenticeship, the pair were presented with their very own catering knife sets by Sue Talbot, Chair of Trustees of the Gettalife Project, and Head Executive Chef Brian Spark.
Dr Talbot said: “The Gettalife Project was responsible for having initiated, developed and enabled this new link for Manchester Academy, and we’re delighted that we could provide this wonderful new opportunity with the Midland Hotel.”
Manchester Academy’s Curriculum Area Leader for Technology Mrs Stack and Vice Principal Mrs McMullen both agreed. Mrs McMullen said: “We are so proud of both Aaron and Carlos. These apprenticeships at The Midland are a great opportunity for them. We are now hoping to continue the link between Manchester Academy and The Midland Hotel, working alongside the Gettalife charity.
Hospitality is a successful subject in the school and it is great to see students using their skills in a working environment. We wish Aaron and Carlos all the best in their future careers”.