Tutor Profile - Hildred Watts

headshot of tutr Hildred Watts.  Kitchen equipment in the background.

Food Studies

18 September 2019

City & Guilds certificate in food preparation and cooking

At school I was lucky to have a good careers lesson, with visitors from the industry coming in to talk to students about careers in hospitality and catering. I instantly loved all the pictures of food I saw - this started me on my path.

I studied Hospitality and Catering at Lincoln College; advanced City and Guilds in Kitchen, Larder and Pastry at Westminster College; then later my HCIMA (Catering Management) at Oxford. Following this, I spent time working at the Savoy Hotel, Selfridges Hotel, Sarova Hotel, the Hilton, Claridge’s, Le Palais du Jardin, and I’ve also taught in other adult education institutions - including at the Cordon Bleu School. I enjoy teaching others to cook and see them gaining confidence for personal achievement as well as for work.

There are a number of talented chefs I look up to: Monica Galetti, Raymond Blanc, Giorgio Locatelli, Ainsley Harriet, James Martin, and of course Marco Pierre White - in fact it was one of his early cook books that inspired me.

Our refurbished kitchen is great because it gives the students a good idea of the working environment they can expect in future employment. Further equipment and tools are being continually added, in order to give the students a larger variety of skills and experience. This will equip them with the confidence they need to secure work in the catering industry.

I have set up some work experience activities for current NVQ level 1 students and also plan more events for new students joining in the next academic year. I believe this helps to prepare them for their future careers and give them the confidence they need to thrive.

In the future I’d also like to run some international cookery workshops - French, Thai, Chinese, Caribbean, Italian and others.

Favourite go-to recipes of mine are French, Thai and Caribbean. I love to cook roast stuffed crown of lamb with dauphinoise potatoes and ratatouille, Thai green curry (with my own freshly made Thai curry paste), Caribbean mutton curry or oxtail with coconut rice and plantain, fried fish with chilli sauce and papaya salad - to mention but a few!

My dream dinner guests would have to be: Alan Sugar (just to see if he would hire or fire me after eating but not before I pick his entrepreneurial brains!), Gabrielle (as I like her music), and finally, actress/singers Jennifer Hudson and Brown Lindiwe Mhize.

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