Talented chef wins awards and work experience at TV’s River Cottage

Joanna Start

Joanna Start - Credit: Archant

A TALENTED young chef has had her culinary skills recognised after being chosen as the winner of two awards.

Former Saffron Walden County High School pupil Jo Start received the First Year Professional Chefs’ Cup for achieving “outstanding progress” on her course at Cambridge Regional College (CRC).

The 17-year-old, from Little Walden, has just completed a VRQ Level 1 Chefs Programme.

She was also part of the team which won an award for outstanding commitment to The Park Restaurant at CRC, where she worked as part of her studies.

Jo said: “I was quite surprised when I won the awards – I wasn’t expecting them at all. I’ve always wanted to be a chef and was encouraged by studying cookery at the County High.

“It is a really competitive industry that I’m going into but I’m determined to work my way up and would like to own a restaurant one day.

“My real passion is the culinary arts side of cookery but I’m enjoying honing my skills.”

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Jo has now embarked on a two-year apprenticeship as a commis chef at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge. She has also been working at the Crown Pub in Little Walden for the past two years and is due to complete three days’ work experience at television chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage next week, after winning a competition.