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Summer Thompson

Level 2 Commis Chef

TRAVELLING the world with tingling tastebuds is the ultimate goal for a Lakes College apprentice cooking up a storm at a west Cumbria steakhouse.

Summer Thompson is a former Workington Academy pupil from the town who decided Lakes College had the right ingredients with a high standard of education and ideal location.

The 17-year-old had developed a taste for hospitality during her GCSEs and, when she decided that sixth form was not for her, Summer returned to the idea of a career in catering which she knew would stick.

Now a Level 2 Commis Chef apprentice working at BLOCKS Steakhouse in Cockermouth, Summer dreams of travelling the world, tasting exotic dishes and and learning how to cook them to perfection.

“I want to travel and experience a lot of different cuisine and work while I’m travelling,” she said.

“Someone suggested working on a cruise ship as a chef, so I get to sail around and cook while I travel.”

In the kitchen at the popular steakhouse, Summer is getting experience of preparing the restaurant’s array of sumptuous sides and starters, plating up and working in a fast-paced environment.

She added: “It’s been really good. I do a bit of prep in the morning and then we’ll set up the kitchen for service.

“Sometimes they’ll ask me to do a bit of different work around the kitchen, so I might help with plating up, which gives me different experience and skills.

“Keeping on top of everything when it’s a busy night can be challenging because it’s quite a fast-paced industry.”

Summer praised the support of her instructor, Emma Donoghue, and said she could not have asked for a better employer to make sure she knows her onions.

“I’ve formed a really good friendship with the people that I work with and there’s a good culture where, if someone does something wrong, they aren’t shouted at, they’re spoken to politely and helped,” she added.

The hands-on learning of an apprenticeship while earning is perfectly suited to Summer’s goals and she said she would not hesitate to recommend one to a friend.

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