Jean-Luc Jawed hopes to secure £30k scholarship at Le Cordon Bleu
AN 18-year-old from Littleover is in with a chance of winning a £30,000 scholarship at a world-class chef school in London.
Following in the footsteps of the likes of Mary Berry, of recent Great British Bake Off fame, Jean-Luc Jawed is through to the semi-final stage for a scholarship at Le Cordon Bleu.
Jean-Luc, of South Avenue, is one of only 16 people aged 17 to 20 from across the UK who are in with a chance of winning the prize.
But it was only a year ago that the Joseph Wright student realised his passion for cooking.
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He said: "I was just looking around for part-time work when I found a job as a commis chef at Sadlergates Black Rock Grill Steakhouse. I started there and just loved it.
"It was incredible how quickly I got to learn about things with a proper chef."
Jean-Luc learned about the Le Cordon Bleu while he was looking for university places at college.
He said: "I had a look at the site and saw the Grand Diplôme which sounded amazing. But I couldn't believe the price."
But with a little more digging he found out about the scholarship.
Jean-Luc uploaded a minute-and-a-half video explaining why he wanted to study there.
He said: "I waited and then got an e-mail saying I had been shortlisted and that I should wait for a call on Monday, March 4.
"I was waiting and then one of the master chefs called, who had a really thick French accent, who told me I had got through."
Now Jean-Luc will head to the capital for an even tougher test at Bloomsbury Square on Monday 11.
He said: "I have to go and have a half-hour interview and then we get a tour around the campus."
Jean-Luc has high hopes for the future after he finished his studies. He said: "I want to be a Michelin star chef.
He said: "I want to take different world foods, put them together and make something new."
The world of food is quite a departure from his current music technology course but he says his family are behind him all the way.
And dad Mohammed, who works in IT for Derby Homes, along with stepmum music teacher Zoe have pledged their support.
He said: "My dad was a bit shocked when I said what I wanted to do but they have always supported me.
"I will finish my music technology course next year and then I hopefully head to London."
The final takes place in London on March 27 with the winner announced that evening at a reception attended by leading chefs, media figures and politicians.
The scholarship will presented by Minister for Skills Matthew Hancock.