Tay-Jaun Moore – Commis Chef at Sodexo

The training and learning opportunities I have received from HIT have been life changing.”

Why an apprenticeship?

I’ve always loved cooking and it’s been my biggest passion for as long as I can remember. Food and making people happy is in my DNA. When I came to the end of secondary school, I knew a classroom setting wasn’t for me and I started looking for other options. I attended an open day run by Sodexo that reached out to schools in areas of social deprivation and that’s where I learned about the Raymond Blanc academy programme. I fell in love with Sodexo as a company and joined as a Level 2 Commis Chef apprentice. I’ve never looked back. I like to think of myself as having a ‘can do’ attitude and I love getting stuck in and making sure I’m a valued member of any kitchen team. I have so far worked my way around the Sodexo Live! sites in London including The Royal Academy of Art, Bateaux, The Wallace Collection and RAF Hendon.

Tay-Jaun Moore – Commis Chef at Sodexo

Benefitting my business

I love nothing more than talking about my apprenticeship journey and what I have achieved with Sodexo and HIT Training. I’ve even visited my former school to tell students about the experience and how apprenticeships skill up young people for the future.

As part of the Raymond Blanc academy, I’m keen to be a role model for young people and show how rigour and discipline leads to great things. I’m proud to say my stagiaire at Le Manoir restaurant resulted in the team offering me a future role in their brigade after I worked there as part of my apprenticeship. I enjoyed building a relationship with the senior team there and featured on Le Manoir’s Instagram aged just 17.

Sodexo’s mantra is ‘Be part of something greater’ and I love travelling around the UK sharing my apprenticeship story and passion for the hospitality industry. I’ve attended the ‘Stop Hunger Foundation Charity Dinner’ at Headingley Stadium raising over £144,000 for our charity partners and I’ve joined Sodexo’s leadership team hosting a fringe event at the Labour party conference in Liverpool. There, I talked about how much I’d developed during my apprenticeship and showed a ‘before and after’ finished dish from my first to last masterclass. The difference is amazing and shows how much progress I’ve made. I also formed part of the brigade at Royal Ascot, a premier event for Sodexo and our clients at Ascot Racecourse. The kitchens are high pressured, with chefs working long days at a very fast pace. I worked hard to deliver the quality expected from such a prestigious event. 

When I first started my apprenticeship, I was shadowing chefs and following pre-made prep lists. Now, I am responsible for sections, meaning I ensure products are labelled, the section is clean and organised and we are always ready for service. I create my own prep list and communicate with other chefs who take over my section in my absence. I also assist others when I am free and frequently run services under the supervision of the head chef to help me develop even more skills. Since developing these skills, my confidence has skyrocketed! I have been thrown in the deep end a few times leading services and tasks which is an incredible accomplishment from where I started. My confidence has soared and I am always ready to try new things. When I injured my ankle, even though I was ready to give up, everyone supported me to get back on my feet and keep chasing my dreams!

Aside from my cooking skills, I’ve learned how important it is to be on time, how every second counts and how teamwork is crucial. Everything I do has an effect on the rest of my team, so I always remain considerate. Being the youngest in the team can be challenging, but I have learned that all the respect I give reflects on how much respect the team shows me.

Tay-Jaun Moore – Commis Chef at Sodexo

The HIT Training difference

When I look back, if school hadn’t allowed me to go to the Sodexo open day, I would not be where I am today. The training and learning opportunities I have received from HIT have been life changing, not only in terms of skills but also the chance to travel and learn everyday life skills as I move into adulthood.

As well as being shown how a kitchen operates, I’ve been able to develop my Food Safety and Health and Safety knowledge and learn the theory behind best practice. As much as I love cooking, I struggle with written work as I find it hard to get my thoughts onto paper. To help me with this, my HIT Training tutor made a lot of my work verbal, and we did recordings which helped me. Whenever I was stuck, she was always on hand with advice.

I would like to progress onto a Level 3 apprenticeship and then move into event catering. The apprenticeship has opened my eyes to wonderful opportunities and I want to travel the world, experience venues in different cities and pass on my knowledge to a new generation of chefs after me. My next career goal is to be one of the youngest head chefs in London and build a reputation in the industry.

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