My career has been varied, to say the least! Having grown up in Gibraltar, I was fascinated by history and our past, and pursued a degree in Archaeology at the University of Birmingham in 2001, whilst working at the Gibraltar Museum. My role there was as the Head of Archaeology, as well as Curator of our collection. In 2004, I attended the University of Cambridge and achieved a PhD in Biological Anthropology – focusing on the diet and nutrition of Neanderthal populations in Gibraltar and the surrounding areas.
In 2011, after working for 11 years at the Museum, I embarked on a life changing adventure, permanently relocating to the UK. Complimenting my Mediterranean upbringing, I decided to pursue my other passion, which was cooking and decided to undertake both a Level 2 NVQ and a Level 3 Diploma in Professional Cookery at St Helen’s College, both of which I passed with Distinctions.
In 2013, while still undertaking my Level 3, I entered the prestigious Roux Scholarship Competition, and managed to secure a place as one of only 18 semi-finalists nationwide, pitted against chefs who had over 10 years’ experience in the business, from highly respected institutions such as the Savoy in London. In the Competition’s 30 year history, I was the first ever student to have made it to the semi-finals. The judges included the Roux family, Rick Stein, and James Martin, amongst others. It was an unforgettable and amazing experience and was only possible with the huge help and support I received from the Catering department at St Helens, and in particular Mr Ian Corkhill.
I’m currently the Head Chef and Kitchen Manager at King’s, a position I secured after completing my Level 3 Diploma at St Helens back in 2013. With an emphasis on healthy, nutritious menus, using a large selection of fresh ingredients, and most foods produced in-house, we aim to provide our students with the best start in life, not only academically, but nutritionally.
We also help support the King’s Gardening Club, who provide us with homegrown produce to prepare for our staff and students and compliment our meals. I have also held after-school cookery classes, as well as produced informative leaflets and newsletters about nutrition, ingredients and general information about cookery. I am passionate about promoting good, healthy, homemade meals to both our staff and our students.
We also often cater for large formal events held by the school, such as designing and catering a formal 4 course Dining In Night for our Cadets.
I thoroughly enjoy my job, and the immediate satisfaction my role provides, which would not be possible without my fantastic kitchen team who tirelessly work towards producing such high quality food for both our staff and students.