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My Apprenticeship Journey, by Miranda Cook

Miranda Cook, demi Chef-de-Partie, Restaurant Associates

Both my culinary, and my Compass journey began during a ski season in France where I worked as a Chalet Chef. It was there that I met somebody who had previously worked for Compass. Throughout our time together in the kitchen she shared with me all the amazing opportunities she’d had working for Compass, including her time at music venues, amazing fine-dining venues and her greatest achievement, winning Apprentice Chef of the Year at the annual Compass Chef of the Year competition.

The year I spent in France, and the Compass recommendation left me excited to get home and head to the Compass job-site. I have now been with Compass for over two years, including time at Leeds Castle studying fine-dining, and now in my current role, at an international bank in Canary Wharf, where I have the amazing opportunity to work as demi Chef-de-Partie, running a small section of the kitchen despite technically still being an apprentice and working towards my Level 2 Commis Chef.

I felt an apprenticeship was the right route for me because I was keen to demonstrate willingness to train from the bottom and learn the basics. I also wanted to ‘earn and learn’ in an industry I’m passionate about. The Compass scheme has allowed me to work and train under so many different people and chefs - It doesn’t matter what kitchen you work in, there is always someone ready to take you under their wing and share tips and trade secrets with you; as well as motivate you to be the best chef you can be. If you don’t know where to start – it really is a fantastic introduction into the hospitality Industry and culinary world.

One of my absolute highlights has been following in my friend from my ski season’s footsteps and winning the highly sought-after Compass Apprentice Chef of the Year title last year. This was my very first competition and it felt so amazing to win. It was such great experience to challenge myself and do something I never thought I could. I had so much fun doing it, and I’m really hoping to compete again soon.

The opportunities here really do feel endless. My apprenticeship has made me a lot more confident as a person. I am hoping to pass my apprenticeship and from there, I’d love to develop within Compass and make the most of the amazing network and culinary family here. My wider goal is to be a mentor along the way and to support apprentices in starting their culinary journey, especially female chefs. In a relatively male dominated industry, I think it is so important for female chefs to be encouraged, push themselves and see what they can achieve in this industry.

So, for anyone who is undecided on their career path in hospitality, I would really recommend looking into an apprenticeship!



Miranda at Compass Chef of the Year, winning Apprentice Chef of the Year.