If you're anything like us, cooking at home is a privilege, not a chore. And when you eat at your favourite restaurants, you pick up a little inspiration for your home cooking with each new dish you try.
That's why we've partnered with iconic cookery school Le Cordon Bleu to bring you what we consider to be the opportunity of a lifetime for enthusiastic home cooks. If you think you've got what it takes, read on...
Put simply, this isn't one for the faint-hearted. Le Cordon Bleu is rightly considered one of the world's top cookery schools, with more than 120 years' experience of turning keen amateurs into kitchen-ready chefs, from Mary Berry to Yotam Ottolenghi.
How to apply
If you want to apply, create a minute-long video illustrating why you are so enthusiastic about food, and what makes you the next big thing on the culinary scene. Prepare an Instagram post of your favourite dish – savoury or sweet – as well as telling the school why you’d be the perfect candidate. Hurry, though: the deadline for applications is 5 April.
If you manage to win the school's 2017 UK Scholarship award, you'll gain entry into the school's most prestigious qualification, the Grand Diplôme, where you'll spend nine months training comprehensively in both pâtisserie and cuisine, plus an internship under this year's competition's ambassador. There's no need to worry about the logistics, either – your accommodation will be sorted, courtesy of Homes4Students.
And even if you're not successful in winning the competition's first prize, you might still be in luck: this year, Le Cordon Bleu is offering the second- and third-placed runners-up a place on its Basic Cuisine Certificate and the Basic Pâtisserie Certificate respectively.
Having a leading light is never a bad thing – and when the industry luminary is the fourth-best chef in the world, you know you're in good hands. The chef in question is Virgilio Martinez, chef-patron of LIMA London and the iconic Central in his native Peru – fourth in the 2016 World's 50 Best Restaurants list – and, given that he's an alumnus of the school, he's in a great position to lead the initiative.
The winner of the competition will not only gain entry to the Grand Diplôme course, but will also get a taste of the real thing afterwards, training at LIMA London under the tutelage of Martinez and the restaurant's head chef Robert Ortiz. No restaurant experience is necessary; just a hunger to learn and boundless enthusiasm. If you're looking for a career in restaurants, this might just be the opportunity you've been waiting for...
For more information and to apply, go to ukscholarship.cordonbleu.edu