MY STORYI moved to Torbay to be nearer my family, but couldn't find work so JCP referred me to Eat That Frog. I kept seeing people going into the training kitchen at The Pad and wondered what they were up to, as it looked like really good fun. I've always loved cooking and I knew hospitality would give me a better chance of a good career.
That decision changed my life dramatically - after a couple of months on the catering course, I got an interview for the River Cottage Chef Training course. Loads of people wanted a place, but I was lucky enough to be chosen - my mum was thrilled because she's seen River Cottage on TV!
For the past year, I've been training at a local restaurant and travelling to River Cottage's Axminister Chef School. It's been tough, but I've now got a qualification, a full-time secure job and the means to support my baby daughter. I plan to be Head Chef within 10 years, and that's possible because of the chance I've been given by ETF and the hard work I've put into it
CASE STUDYEthan started attending Eat That Frog at the age of 15, after personal issues made it difficult for him to remain in school. In September 2015, he started Level 3 Professional Cookery.
We started with basic Level 3 recipes such as mayonnaise, hollandaise sauce, guacamole etc. These were things he had never made or tasted before, and suddenly he was keen, interested, and began to make conversation.
At Level 3, the course theory is quite intense, but our tutor worked with him on a 1:1 basis and Ethan was happy to discuss the answers before putting pen to paper. During practical sessions, Ethan took control of the kitchen, which he found really rewarding.
Towards the end of the course, Ethan planned a Fine Dining night; he cooked a delicious menu with choices of starter, main, dessert, cheeseboard and coffee. The evening was a complete success, and Ethan and his team received glowing feedback from all diners. Not only did Ethan complete his level 3 Qualification, but he was one of only two people to ever achieve 100% on his written functional skills assessment. He is now working hard, in a job he loves plus he’s taking driving lessons and plans on buying a car.
We’re sure Ethan has very bright future, though he still hates having his photo taken!
CASE STUDYLidia Came to Eat That Frog in 2015 through our multiple barrier support service, suffering with severe anxiety and confidence issues. She agreed to attend our Paignton branch. The first day was hugely difficult for her. Our Chef Tutor talked with her on a 1:1 level to reassure her that she was in a safe environment and no-one would make her do anything she didn’t want to do.
Lydia then began attending twice a week as she was enjoying it so much and her confidence was rising. She was helping the tutor plan menus and even began to help fellow students with tasks. This again was a big sign of the growing confidence Lidia had gained. 8 weeks in, Lidia was attending 3 times a week.
After 16 weeks, Lidia was ready for work experience. She successfully gained a placement in a cafe in Newton Abbot. Lidia was very anxious about the interview but said she would go as long as her tutor went with her. When Lidia turned up as planned for her first day’s work at the cafe, everyone at ETF was elated.
In May 2016 we received a phone call from Lidia’s mum, to once again thank us for all we had done for Lidia and to tell us that that she’d been accepted for an apprenticeship at a Patisserie shop in Dartington. Eat That Frog really does change lives…. Ask Lidia!