An aspiring chef has landed himself a job at a Michelin Star restaurant at the tender age of 18, with help from Middlesbrough College.
Ben White, from Whitby, has joined the kitchen of the Tommy Bank’s prestigious eatery, The Black Swan at Oldstead.
The Middlesbrough College student is currently working at the restaurant on the edge of the North York Moors National Park, and is due to take on a full-time role in June.
He’s been recognised by Tommy – the youngest chef in Britain to be awarded a Michelin Star – as a future culinary whizz.
Ben said: “I’ve been cooking for a few years now. It started at school, and then I moved on to after school classes and my interest in it started to grow.
“It was my dream to work for a Michelin Star restaurant, and I’ve already achieved it!
“I know I’ve still got lots to learn, and the team at The Black Swan are really friendly so I’m looking forward to learning even more from them.”
Ben, who is currently finishing a Level 3 qualification in Patisserie, is being tutored by a friend of the Great British Menu contestant, Middlesbrough College’s Stephen Hardy.
He’s already been working part time at The Black Swan while completing his studies, and even found time to scoop 2nd place in the recent North East Culinary Trade Association’s ‘Future Chef’ competition.
Ben also cut his teeth at Middlesbrough College’s own in-house Bistro, The Waterside Brasserie, which is open to the public. The Waterside Brasserie has a strong partnership with Michelin starred chef Frances Atkins, who works with students within the College restaurant and at her restaurant, The Yorke Arms.
Tommy Banks, chef owner at The Black Swan, said: “Ben consistently demonstrates an extremely positive attitude to both his work and learning.
“He has shown to be of a very high and competent standard when displaying his extensive range of skills.
“In addition to his obvious talent, he is also very grounded and mature beyond his years. Ben has a wonderful personality and will fit in with the dynamics of any team.”
Stephen Hardy, tutor at Middlesbrough College, said: “Ben has an obvious talent and a passion for cooking, and it’s clear that Tommy has seen that in him.
“He now has a brilliant opportunity to launch a culinary career, and will learn from one of the best in the business.
“We can’t wait to see him go on to great things at The Black Swan.”