Aspiring chef from Cringleford shortlisted for �30,000 scholarship

A budding chef from Norwich has been shortlisted for a scholarship worth �30,000 at a top London culinary school.

Esther Malcolm, 17, who lives in Colney Lane, Cringleford, has made it through to the final eight to be selected for the Le Cordon Bleu scholarship.

The world famous culinary school is based in London's West End and has been training top chefs for more than 100 years.

Miss Malcolm, who is currently studying A-levels in economics, history and multimedia at Wymondham College, said: 'For the first round we had to make a video about ourselves, what we wanted to do in the future and what we knew about Cordon Bleu.

'We also had to do a presentation about why we wanted the scholarship.

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'A total of 16 people were selected from the videos and we went to have an interview at the new Cordon Bleu site and a tour.

'When you are not doing the course you would be working at the restaurant. It is quite full on, it is seven days a week sometimes.'

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Norwich-born Tom Aikens, left, Britain's youngest chef to win two Michelin stars, is offering the winner of the scholarship the chance to work as an apprentice at his award-winning restaurants.

Miss Malcolm will find out on February 7 next year if she has been successful.

Le Grand Diplom scholarship award, which is worth about �30,000, includes tuition fees, accommodation and kitchen equipment.

The intensive course will last for nine months, which the school claims is equivalent to spending four years working in a kitchen.

She said: 'It's the first year they have done it.

'It's a tough competition.

'I want it just as much as everybody else.

'Hopefully, the judges will see something a bit different in me.

'It's a nine-month course but at that time you get the whole diploma.

'They also run a management course at Cordon Bleu as well, so I was thinking about going on to do that afterwards if I am successful.

'I hope to run my own business one day or work in a top restaurant.'

Alongside her studies at Wymondham College, Miss Malcolm works part-time as a junior chef in the Top of the Terrace restaurant at Carrow Road and she is also studying for a level three diploma in culinary arts one evening a week at City College Norwich.

She added: 'I wanted to get started on my career to see if cooking is really what I want to do.

'I want to get as much experience as possible.'

Do you have an education story for the Evening News? Contact Victoria Leggett on 01603 772468 or email

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