One of the most senior roles at the Seaview Hotel kitchen has been given to Kayleigh Pedley – as junior sous chef, Kayleigh will share the day-to-day responsibilities for the running and organisation of the multi-award-winning kitchen.
Kayleigh studied Food Technology at Ryde Academy before going to The Isle of Wight College where, in 2018, she attained a NVQ Diploma in Catering and Front of House Management.
The Isle of Wight College was brilliant. I learned a lot about classic cooking techniques and I think it’s important to get the basics right.
There are many supportive tutors there but the restaurant manager, Emmanuel Ferdinand is super. He’s both passionate and patient which is a great combination to have as a tutor.
From there I came to The Seaview Hotel. At first I was a bit apprehensive being the only woman in the kitchen but I just got on with the job, there’s now three women chefs here.
There is still a big gender disparity in professional kitchens, less than 20% of chefs working in restaurant kitchens are female.
I have learned that as a chef you have to be prepared to go out of your comfort zone and meet new challenges. It also helps that I am an organised person and a bit of a list maker. If you’re prepared, you reduce the risk of things going wrong.
Kayleigh was inspired to cook by her nan, Sandra, “As a young girl I was amazed by my nan’s cake making. She would create gorgeous cakes and I always enjoyed cooking with her. My nan has had a massive influence on me.”
Kayleigh has talent, ability and leadership potential. She has really impressed me and I felt that she is ready to take on this new challenge.
It is great to have a woman in a senior role in the kitchen. It would be brilliant if Kayleigh could inspire more women into this profession especially as The Isle of Wight College provides such excellent training.