"Keep up the good work – yours is still the best course for chalet staff bar none."
Snowlife Chalet Holidays - Ashley Faint
"Mike is returning with us next season and he was officially our most successful member of chalet staff last winter."
"The Orchards send us consistently well-trained staff. It is amazing how much students learn in just 2 weeks. Lucy and Isabel manage to convey their love of good food and cookery to every student and it shows when these students come to us for interviews. However, it's not just the cooking they learn, The Orchards' students also learn how to clear up, keep a kitchen clean and be charming hosts and hostesses!!"
YSE - Fiona Easdale
The Weekend Telegraph... "Cooking with Altitude" Christopher Middleton
"It is not just the innocent arts of baking and steaming that are being passed on here, but the more worldly secrets of professional chalet hosting."
The Independent... "Preparation for the Piste" Amy McLellan
"The Orchards School of Cookery takes rookie cooks and transforms them into competent chefs capable of producing a sophisticated four-course meal for a chalet-load of hungry skiers without even breaking a sweat…” “… an investment that quickly yields a return."
Daily Mail... "Leaping the Gap - Master Alpine Cuisine as a Chalet Host" Toby Welch
"…they provide you with all of the culinary skills and insider knowledge you need to be a top notch, efficient chalet host."
Worcester Evening News... "What a Chalet Good Idea" Becky Fisher
"It is these little gems of information - as well as learning how to plan and cook a menu of dishes to impress even the most finicky food critic - that students, who have travelled from as far as Australia, are willing to pay to get their hands on."
Edge Magazine... "Learn To Do More Than Just Cook"
“The Bomford sisters have set out to inspire, motivate and encourage young people to take control of their lives and invest in their future – through the art of cookery...”
"The Chalet Cooks course involves an intensive tuition in gourmet cuisine along with tips on time management and the all-important organisational skills required to run a chalet."
"The Orchards really covers all bases and its success rate is a marvel."
"Through a doorway in the wall of the garden, lies a stunning kitchen garden where students have the opportunity to see how the fresh produce used at the school is grown. Orchards Cookery School provides fantastic opportunities for anyone wishing to become a better cook but particularly for young people who want to gain experience and learn the necessary skills for their gap year and university ventures."
Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering (previously known as Level 2 Food Hygiene Certificate)
Students have the opportunity to obtain a ‘Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering’ during a two week Chalet Cooks Course).
Many ski companies look for chalet cooks with some formal training / qualifications in Food Safety / Hygiene (as do catering companies and agencies looking for cooks).
Following feedback from ski companies we have adapted our two week Chalet Cooks Course so that we can provide students doing a two week Chalets Cooks Course with an opportunity to gain a ‘Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering during their course. (Previously we offered Level 1 but as students with Level 1 are often made to do Level 2 by ski companies before they start cooking for chalet guests we have upgraded to the next level).
We aim to give our students the best training and qualifications to help them stand out when applying to ski companies (and for catering jobs) and we believe this additional relevant qualification will provide another valuable ‘feather in their cap.’
The course is delivered during the chalet cooks course by our Tutors and is overseen by an independent Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner who runs an accredited training centre meeting strict teaching standards required by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. On the Wednesday afternoon of the second week of the course (during a break from cooking) students will have a training / revision session with the independent Environmental Health Officer, and will then sit a short multiple choice paper. Upon successful completion students are issued with a Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Award.
Food hygiene is a very important part of being a chalet cook and whilst some companies train people in Food Hygiene at the start of the season, others are now looking to recruit staff who are already trained and have the qualification (saving them the cost of training people in the Alps). The certificate can therefore be a very useful thing to have on your CV and could potentially help in being a deciding factor as to whether a company offers you (or somebody else....) a job! CIEH qualifications are recognised around the world by Environmental Health Professionals and the qualification can be useful for a wide range of catering jobs.
Sometimes one thinks one pays good rates and gets what one pays for. Just very rarely you get even more than you could ever anticipate! That is what you have achieved in great measure. Thank you! I am so very grateful for you giving my nephew so much!!
"We have paid for his education since he was 7 years old, but I think two weeks with you was the best money we ever spent on him. Many thanks to you and your team."
"After receiving over 15 offers for interview (many thanks for that) we have decided to go with Le Ski, who interviewed us during our course with you. Thank you again for all your help and support both during the course and following. You guys are a treat to the industry!"
Nicola and Dave Ryan
"Awesome two weeks, couldn’t have enjoyed it more."
"The Orchards really helped me to visualise my passion for cooking and I would just like to thank you again for a superb week filled with many entertaining memories."
"I just wanted to say thank you so much for an incredible time at The Orchards....that was honestly the best experience of my life."
"I wanted to write to you both to say what a marvellous time Polly had on the Chalet Cooks’ course. Not only did she learn a huge amount, but the course instilled a really good work ethic: that working hard is rewarding and fun.
For her, it has resulted in the best outcome, in receiving a job with Powder White – and I’m sure that the training she has had at Orchards with be invaluable every day of the season.
Our heartfelt thanks for providing such a superb course – I have no hesitation about recommending it, as the perfect gap year course."
"My daughter Sarah-Grace was with you in November for the chalet cookery course and I just wanted to let you know what a fantastic success it has been for her. I have to admit that I was very dubious when she told me she had chosen the course herself from the internet with no other background information....and that it was only for five days! However she had worked hard to pay for it herself and she was not for turning.
She returned from the course with a new cookery enthusiasm and confidence that was unstoppable. Prior to heading off for Val d'Isere with Snowline VIP two weeks later, we had been treated to a host of delicious meals from your great book. She, along with her friend, thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the course - from the lovely setting and accommodation, the darts in the pub, the fun at the evening meals, but especially the intense acquisition of so much proper cookery knowledge...
Needless to say, with fantastic snow again this year she is having a wonderful time. I am certain however, that all she learned at The Orchards - both cooking and management has been the most major contributor to her chalet confidence and thus overall enjoyment. I am also certain that you are very unlikely to have received personal feedback from the busy slopes - hence this missive from a very appreciative mother!
With best wishes for continued success."
"I have just returned from cooking for the golfer ...(well known golfer!) at the Open this year. I cooked for him last summer as well and am being flown out at Easter (if my holidays coincide) to cook and hostess for him at the Masters in Augusta! Apparently he was impressed by my ability to hostess and cook at the same time. So thank you very much for everything you taught me all those years ago and for getting me the job with YSE to follow. The organisation and high standards definitely impressed ...(well known golfer) and his team. I never thought I would end up cooking for a celebrity and earning £1500 in a week!"
"I have been meaning to write every since Nancy came home from her 5 day Chalet Cook course with you to say a huge thank you for everything you gave her during her time with you. When I collected her off the train on the Friday evening I wasn't quite sure what to expect! As it was - even though she'd had a pretty long and tedious journey with a couple of changes, and it was late in the evening - she didn't draw breath (that might not surprise you!) about what a fantastic week she'd had, and how much she had achieved and hugely enjoyed achieving during that time! And the fun she'd had with the other people on the course. The car smelt of garlic for the next couple of days (which was lovely!), and we have been absolutely bowled over by her confidence and enthusiasm in the kitchen since her return.
Nancy's two brothers were home from university over Easter, and she made us several delicious three course meals, and when she decides to have a bit of a bake, she knocks up three cakes, where one would have previously presented quite a challenge! I can't tell you how impressed, and really thankful I am - apart from the fact that we may have to go up a size in clothes!"
"The courses you run at The Orchards are of an extremely high standard and the caliber of students that leave you after only a fortnight are exceptional"
This is a belated thank you for all your assistance in helping my son secure a chalet host position for the 2011/2012 ski season. He has just returned from Courcheval yesterday where he has had the best time. Having arrived at the start of your 2 week cookery course with the most basic cooking skills last November, he loved every minute of the course and it gave him the confidence to cope with looking after 8 guests at a time on his own.
He was offered the role at one of your interview days so the whole experience was initiated through Orchards Cookery.
As he left for France on the very last day of his cookery course, I have still not sampled his new found cooking skills and am looking forward to this shortly.
I cannot thank you enough for a simply am amazing week! I had a wonderful time, met some great people and had some incredible food. I can really see why all my friends spoke so highly of The Orchards.
I would just like to say a big thank you for all your pre-season help and guidance. I had the time of my life and the best season ever in Val D’isere. I loved working for Consensio Chalets and met such great people while I was out there – I can now see why you got hooked on seasons. It wouldn’t have been possible without you!