A former architect with a passion for food has thanked the College lecturers for helping him make a massive career shift to the culinary arts. Andrew Bood, 37, undertook Professional Cookery Level 2 and 3 qualifications at Hartlepool College of Further Education after a career as an assistant architect in New Zealand. Where he relocated with his Hartlepool-born wife Katie.
He now runs The Copper Kettle, his own restaurant in Park Road, Hartlepool, after a successful career in kitchens around the region. Andrew, who is originally from Wolverhampton, said: “I got fed up of the office 9-5, so I washed pots whilst retraining at the age of 30. “Going from working in an office and earning a decent living to washing pots on minimum wage was a big leap. But it’s just one of those decisions I had to make if I wanted to change careers. You’re going to do the job for the rest of your life and if you’re not happy you have to make the change, start from the bottom and work your way up. That was when we moved back to England and decided to relocate to the North East. Going back to College as an adult was the natural progression for me to get myself re-educated.”
Andrew believes the motivation he received whilst at the College of FE helped him to explore his passions and improve his professional abilities. He said: “The College was brilliant and Kevin Dove, my tutor, was a massive support and a great role model and friend. We still keep in contact today. Obviously, the tutors have been professionals for many years, and it was great to learn under them. The mentoring I received whilst at the College has had the biggest impact for me. They were always available to answer any questions I may have, show us how to cook a specific recipe or pass on any skills they had from the basic level upwards. They’ve even helped when it came to the paper side of the business, like how to use the ordering systems and planning your menus.
It wasn’t a standard one size fits all method for everyone on the course. It was more of a hands-on practical method of learning and that’s why it worked.”
Andrew is urging anyone who feels like they’re on the wrong path to take a chance on education. No matter what the age. The successful chef said: “It’s hard to give advice to people. “Everyone is an individual with their own sets of skills, but education is about finding that inner fire in someone. Finding out what their passion is and giving them the tools to explore that. It took me 30 years to discover what I wanted to do, and what I didn’t want to do, and at the end of the day it’s only yourself that can make changes in your life and decide what it is you want to do. People can advise and support but it’s up to you to make that decision. That’s the beauty of adult education. It’s always there as an option for people who want to make the leap or test the waters.”
This café come bistro, less than a mile from the College, serves up some real show-stopping meals. Everything from mango, crab and avocado stacks; Braised pork belly and traditional home-cooked Sunday lunches to ‘Beet’ Wellington and other vegan and vegetarian twists. He said: “The opportunity to buy my own place came up and they don’t come along very often. Working for yourself and being able to provide for your family. There is nothing like that. If you don’t push yourself then you don’t know what you’re capable and The College allowed me to do that.”
Thinking of the Culinary Arts or a career in Hospitality, then enrol for a course now >> http://bit.ly/hcfehcat