A PLUCKY Southampton student is preparing to cut her teeth at one of the most prestigious restaurants in the UK after making a personal appeal to celebrity chef, Raymond Blanc.
Jayne Wilkinson, a student at City College Southampton, is set to do work experience with Raymond Blanc at his flagship eatery, Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, this summer after sending a plucky letter asking him for a big break.
Budding pastry chef, Jayne, 17, said: “I wanted to learn more about French cuisine and see the new techniques they’re using in industry and thought there’s nowhere better to see that than at Le Manoir. I wrote them a letter asking for work experience, not really thinking anything would come of it, so I couldn’t believe it when his people got back to me.”
Jayne, from Chandler’s Ford, was stunned when just a day later the restaurant contacted her and, after an interview and CV check, offered her a placement for the summer.
“I can’t wait to go now,” Jayne said.
“I’m going to learn so much and having this on my CV will definitely put me ahead of the pack.”
Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons is a luxury hotel in Oxford established by celebrity chef, Raymond Blanc. Its two-Michelin starred restaurant serves modern French cuisine and is highly acclaimed across the UK.
Raymond Blanc said: “The wonderful thing about life is that we are all eternal students – and should embrace the journey that learning new things gives to us. This also applies to the kitchen. I am passionate about teaching and passing on the experience I have garnered to anyone who is eager and passionate and wants to learn more about what it takes to create a wonderful, long lasting memory. My staff and I very much look forward to welcoming Jayne.”
Sarah Stannard, principal and CEO at City College, added: “Jayne is a shining example of how we inspire our students to have big ambitions for their futures. Jayne shows how can-do attitude, combined with great teaching and excellent support from her lecturers, is a formula for success.”
Jayne is no stranger to success.
She already has an unconditional offer to study culinary arts at Nottingham University once she completes her course at City College. She has also recently picked up an award from the Institute of Hospitality for her outstanding achievements and dedication to her studies.
Jayne added: “My advice to any young people out there is to aim high and go for every opportunity.
If you have a dream, work hard to achieve it.”