Docklands hotel’s Alexandra is ‘star apprentice’ in Chef Academy cook-off contest

Chef Academy apprentice Alexandra Moraru

Chef Academy apprentice Alexandra Moraru - Credit: Redefine BDL Hotels

An apprentice chef at east London’s Crown Plaza Docklands hotel has won the quarterly ‘Star Apprentice’ title in the Chef Academy contest.

Alexandra Moraru, who started a year-long Redefine BDL Hotels’ training programme in March, was named top apprentice at the second of four masterclasses.

The 24-year-old was joined by the four other members of the Chef Academy from other parts of Britain at the two-day intensive session held in Bedford.

The masterclasses are part of the Chef Academy programme by Redefine BDL hotel chain to give those with little or no experience the chance to cook up a career in the hospitality trade.

Alexandra impressed judges with her food preparation techniques on Day 1, before acting as ‘head chef’ for the winning team on the second day’s cook-off challenge.

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“Taking the role of ‘head chef’ for the team challenge was daunting,” she admits. “But picking up the ‘Star Apprentice’ title for this masterclass topped off a great two days.

“We learned so much as well as getting lots of hands-on training.”

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It has spurred her on to work hard during the rest of the programme to hold onto her title at the next two masterclasses.

Crown Plaza London Docklands’ general manager Daniel Loosley said: “Alexandra is an asset to the team who has worked hard to make the most of her apprenticeship.

“Our head chef and the rest of the kitchen team enjoy working with her.”

Alexandra is keen to continue her ‘winning streak’ up to next year’s graduation, as one of the apprentices gets the coveted overall ‘Star Apprentice’ award with a week’s work experience in South Africa.

Each apprentice who completes the year-long Chef Academy gains a Level 2 Qualification in Professional Cookery, as well as a guaranteed job at ‘Commis Chef’ level at one of Redefine BDL’s hotels for one year following graduation.

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