Rachel Edwards Stuart, lecturer in Culinary Science and Innovation

The Staff Canteen

Chef Career Advice

Based on her extensive experience working within the culinary industry as a lecturer in Culinary Science and Innovation, Rachel Edwards Stuart offers her advice to aspiring Chefs in an attempt to help them on their journey up the career ladder:

So my name is Dr Rachel Stuart and I teach culinary science and innovation to all the Chef students here at Westminster Kingsway College Well, we are quite unique in that we offer science to all of our Chef students.

It's something that we decided to do a couple of year ago, because we thought it was invaluable for all the Chefs futures in the hospitality industry, they should have some understanding of the sciences going on when they cook because ultimately every time that you cook something in the kitchen you change the texture, you change the flavour that's because chemical reactions are going on and in order to make I believe the best dishes and the dishes are reproduced excellent you need to have an understanding of the sciences going on and it also helps with the innovation.

I think that it’s very important that the students have an understanding of food science not only in terms of understanding the science behind the processes going on in the kitchen but to make sure that they can optimise to ensure they don't go wrong, but also when they are just thinking about trying maybe new ingredients or a new recipe if they are trying it in a very scientific approach. So changing only one thing at a time following a very logical flow then they are then more likely to have a successful result.

The best piece of advice I have been given is to really persevere and if you have a dream often if you really just try and try at it, you can really succeed, It's important that students have an understanding that science can be important and are open to learning what I teach them in the science labs, but I think in terms of careers it's having a curiosity about why these changes happen is very important if you want to pursue a career with a more scientific approach to cooking.

We are starting to get more Chefs actually investing in development labs to really aid their innovation in their cooking, so that's why I think it’s so important that Chef students have an understanding of what is going on scientifically to better equip them to work in these kinds of careers, if they choose to follow that route.

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 9th March 2017

Rachel Edwards Stuart, lecturer in Culinary Science and Innovation