Apprentice Chef at the Grand

Name: Brian McDairmaid

Apprenticeship: Commis Chef – Level 2, 18-month programme

Age: 18 years


Brian first got a taste of cookery when he was attending East Sussex College, completing a Craft Catering course. School was not for him and got more enjoyment being at college part-time. It was during the course that Brian wanted to experience working in a kitchen. He had often walked passed the hotel and imagined what it would be like to work at The Grand Hotel, Eastbourne.


The school approached the Personnel and Development Manager at The Grand, Eastbourne for Brian to do a work placement two days a week. After having met Brain we offered a placement.

He was so excited, his dream had come alive! Brian experienced life in different areas of the kitchen and did a total of one hundred and forty-four hours of work experience whilst attending school and college!


As his school year was coming to an end, Brian decided that he wanted to do an apprenticeship.

In September 2019, at the age of seventeen, Brain started his apprenticeship, Commis Chef – Level 2. During the apprenticeship, Brian has a mentor who he says has been an inspiration. He goes on to mention ‘I have learnt so much from my mentor who has been a great support. Before I did the apprenticeship, I was doubting myself if I could do this, but Hrvoje Loncarevic, Executive Head Chef gave me the push I needed. Since doing the apprenticeship, I have seen a change in myself, in terms of timekeeping and being respectful towards others. The kitchen team are a big family and everyone works well together as a team. If I do something wrong, I am not told off, we discuss a different or correct way of doing it. I am learning so many new skills. I would recommend to who is thinking about doing an apprenticeship to go for it!’