Ronan joined us in October 2018 on our apprenticeship programme. He is now in the second year of his apprenticeship and speaks to us about his experience so far.
What are you going to be doing this year at The Torridon?
This year I will be finishing the 1887 kitchen department and then moving into front of house. I have gained a huge amount of experience in the kitchen. When I went into the kitchen I could not even hold a knife properly. The chefs soon taught me the basics and I am able to take a lot away from the kitchen department. I am looking forward to my next move into front of house.
What have you enjoyed so far?
I have enjoyed rotating around all departments and getting used to different managers and the way they manage their teams. I also really enjoyed the restaurant. Working in the restaurant every day during the busy summer times and also over Christmas was an amazing way to get to know the guests. Getting taught the proper service techniques was also very enjoyable. From opening a bottle of wine in front of guests to the laying of cutlery for each course. During the restaurant I have extended my knowledge in whisky, wines and all the local ingredients we use in our dishes daily. I would also say getting to know all the different nationalities in the team and also with the guests has been really special.
What have you not enjoyed so far?
I would say for me the kitchen department has been the most challenging. Every day is different and I went into there with no kitchen skills. I would not say I don’t enjoy it , it was more of a shock to the system going into such a busy and full-on environment. I love learning so the kitchen is a fantastic place for that. It was amazing to see how each section works in the kitchen and just the amount of work that is needed! All the chefs have supported me and I have improved a lot from where I was at the start.
The location is hard too, But with so much landscape around you , You are never bored. I go to the Gym nearby too in my free time.
What advice would you give to anyone applying to the apprenticeship at The Torridon?
I think when applying for an apprenticeship at The Torridon, It has got to be something you are really interested and passionate to try. Even if it is your first job in the hospitality industry, with a six-month rotation into each department you have got to get ready to take on full knowledge and learn to the best of your ability. The apprenticeship at The Torridon is special. From great management to a fantastic location, we are all very spoiled. To strive through this apprenticeship you have also got to be a team player. In a very small team, we create a bond with all departments that’s really quite unique. And the last thing would be making sure the location is right for you. Without a car, it might be a problem but with plenty of friendly faces, no one would see you stuck.