Dean MacKenzie

8th April 2013

Dean freely admits he needed help to develop his skills in the kitchen when he first started out. But now he’s a flourishing young chef, confident in his abilities and able to turn out plates a professional chef would be proud of.

Dean’s been working with Calman for over two years and has been with Café Artysans since it opened in December 2010. He’s completed his Modern Apprenticeship, which covers food safety, customer service and kitchen orders, amongst other things.

After leaving school at 16, Dean went to college and did an SVQ Level 2 Professional Cookery before working in different kitchens, but he found it hard to find steady work. Dean found the Artysans opportunity through Jobcentre Plus, and he’s full of praise for the chefs he works with: “They’re the reason why we learn such impressive kitchen skills. I’m really confident as I’ve learnt from the best, plus I’ve been given loads of support to develop in the direction I want to go – in the kitchen. I want a place of my own one day.”

“We all have to work hard, but it’s not all elbow grease. It’s a good laugh and there’s plenty of banter – everybody’s brilliant. It’s a great place to start, especially as everyone’s the same age. People who start can be in their shells at first, but we know what it’s like and we help everyone out. People settle in really quickly.”