Share a taste of apprentice chef’s success

Share a taste of apprentice chef’s success

Four of the North West’s most talented apprentice professional chefs competed against each other at Trafford College’s Aspire Restaurant recently in a bid to see their dishes featured on the menus of some of the region’s top restaurants.

The Level 2 and 3 apprentices, who all work for multi award winning restaurant and bar group, The New World Trading Company, battled it out for over two hours, creating a starter and main dish which they had to present to a panel of judges including CEO Chris Hill, HR Director Natasha Waterfield, Learning and Development Manager Tara Hook and Executive Chef James Scott.

The New World Trading Company, who recently won a plateful of awards at a prestigious awards ceremony recognising the casual dining sector’s most successful operators, currently operates 26 restaurants and bars across the UK (such as The Botanist, The Oast House, The Florist, The Smugglers Cove, The Trading House, The Club House and The Canal House). They have also been ranked fifth in The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2019.

The group places great emphasis on internal progression that encourages senior managers to look for bright stars. They also progress the hardest working, talented and committed members of their team and take them to the top, regardless of previous experience.

Impressing judges with his creation of marinated lamb cutlets, pea & lemon purée with goats cheese espuma, and scooping the top gong was Franceso Interlici.

Francesco, who moved to the UK from Sicily in 2017 to follow his dreams of becoming a professional chef, is relatively new to the NWTC, but is already making waves and swiftly progressing in the company.

Currently employed as a junior sous chef, he has also taken on the responsibility of acting sous chef, helping train his new counterpart.

He commented, “I love my role with the NWTC and working as part of such a fantastic team. My apprenticeship is helping me grow so much as an individual and this competition is just an example of how much the company is investing in my development. My goal is to progress as much as possible within the organisation and hopefully provide training to others some day as Head Chef.”

Francesco’s prize for first place is for his dish to feature on the menu of The Club House in Liverpool so fellow diners can share in his success.

All the chefs taking part in the competition are on apprenticeships with Trafford College. For more information on how you can earn while you learn, contact the College’s dedicated apprenticeship team on (0161) 886 7461 or visit