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Lee’s a chef of distinction, thanks to lockdown learning

They say where there's a will, there's a way. For the many apprentices tutored by Swatpro Academy, this year has shown that determination and talent can help them qualify despite Covid regulations.

Lee Dominik began this year as a highly regarded apprentice Commis Chef at the Miner's Arms in Hemerdon, near Plymouth.

Head chef Pete Watson and his team watched as Lee progressed from specialising in making fine desserts, to being able to prepare every aspect of the extensive menu at the busy pub/restaurant.

Unfortunately, the long lockdown proved too much for the Miner's, which closed, leaving Lee out of work.

But his Swatpro Academy mentor, Del Anning, knew the enthusiastic young chef wanted to continue and complete his apprenticeship and arranged distance learning to keep his skills as sharp as a kitchen knife.

Lee is quick to recognise how this helped his progress: "Del helped me to achieve my qualification through regular guided learning, that consisted of expanding my knowledge of various commis chef subjects and the course criteria.

"Del also provided constant support during any occasions where direction was needed in order to progress, plugging gaps in my knowledge."

Despite a face-to-face meeting with his end-point-assessors being impossible, Lee was able to remotely take part in the 3, 40-minute professional development discussions, present his menu portfolio and pass the 90-minute knowledge theory test. He passed his Level 2 gaining an overall Distinction.. He passed his Level 2 exam with an overall Distinction.

"I felt great after completing the assessments and even better after being told my achieved grade! It was a successful end to a smooth journey and all-round brilliant learning experience," Lee recalls.

He is now working outside the culinary trade, but hopes to return to practise his newly recognised skills as soon as the hospitality sector gets back on its feet.

Lee is fulsome in praising his working relationship with Del and Swatpro Academy in general.

"I would recommend Del and Swatpro Academy to others. The service provided was fantastic and I was always made aware of what was expected of me, which meant that I could work towards my goals with ease, and complete each stage of the qualification confidently."

Lee’s a chef of distinction, thanks to lockdown learning