At 18 years old, Perth born Kieran is an apprentice chef with Wilde Thyme, an events and catering company owned by Entier, and recently won both ‘Aspiring Young Chef 2018’ and ‘Perth College Apprentice of the year’. The talented apprentice knew from a young age that he wanted to become a professional chef.

“I started my HNC in Cooking while I was at school. I had to go between my high school and Perth College to complete my regular classes along with my HNC but I knew this is what I wanted to do with my life.”

“Lesley Officer, Director of HR at Entier, had contacted Perth High School looking for potential candidates for their award-winning Fresh Olives apprenticeship programme and my Home Economics teachers suggested that I apply. Very soon after, I met with the team at Wilde Thyme, for an interview and then a skills test at the kitchen in Comrie and was delighted to be offered the position of apprentice chef.”

Through his apprenticeship, Kieran’s gained a better understanding of quality produce.

“I didn’t really understand what the term “field to plate” meant before. Now having worked with chefs from different backgrounds and getting to take part in tours of Peterhead fish market and a tour and session with the master butcher at MacWilliams the Butchers, I now have a better understanding of just how important it is. I love being able to work with the best Scottish produce on the market and seeing why our products are selected.”

Often working in a restaurant kitchen gets a bad reputation but Kieran wants to make sure that people realise that that isn’t always the reality.

“There is a massive misconception about working horrible long hours and getting shouted at constantly by the more senior chefs in a kitchen, but that has certainly not been my experience.”

“I have been lucky enough to be exposed to so many different types of cooking from batch cooking, to fine dining and for some of the most amazing clients. I always knew that there was a lot of opportunities in the food and drink industry but now I understand that the opportunities are even bigger than I imagined.”

“The opportunities for young people in the industry are endless and I see from my fellow apprentices that the work isn’t limited to working directly with food. There are apprenticeships for various disciplines like HR, operations and finance so there really is something for everyone.”

For Kieran’s #ScotFoodGoals, he wants to see Scotland being known for more than just “haggis, neeps and tatties”.

“Scotland is already very well known for having some of the best and freshest produce in the world, but I would love to see Scotland put firmly on the map for our delicious food and drink.”

For his own #ScotFoodGoals, Kieran wants to continue his journey to becoming a professional chef working with delicious local Scottish produce.

“In my short time in this industry I have worked at some amazing events, met extremely passionate and talented people and worked with some of the best ingredients in the world. And to top it all off,

I recently found out that I am a finalist for this year’s SVQF Level 5 Apprentice of the Year at the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards. I’m absolutely loving my time in this amazing industry and can’t wait to see what my future holds.”