Teen chef lands dream job at top restaurant

Dylan Smith
Dylan Smith

A talented teenager has cause for celebration after landing his dream job with a Michelin-starred chef.

Dylan Smith, 19, is now creating a la carte cuisine at celebrity chef Simon Rogan’s eatery Rogan & Co, the sister restaurant of two Michelin star L’Enclume.

I don’t think I’ll ever fall out of love with food

Dylan Smith

The Whitburn lad, who has just finished studying an apprenticeship at Sunderland College, has been appointed as commis chef at the three AA rosette restaurant in Cartmel, Cumbria.

Dylan said: “When I found out I had the job I was ecstatic, but very shocked. This is such a massive opportunity for me.”

“Simon Rogan is an amazing chef and I’m going to learn so much in this job. He is very much all about growing his own produce, making the best out of simple ingredients and making it taste really good.

“This is a big step up for me but I’m very happy that I have this chance to learn and develop my cooking skills.

“I hope that I’ll be able to impress the team at Rogan & Co and will then move to L’Enclume. I don’t think many 19-year-olds can say they’re working at a three AA rosette restaurant with the chance to move to a two Michelin star restaurant. I’m very grateful.”

“I want to travel the world working at prestigious restaurants and eventually my aim is to be a three star Michelin chef. I don’t think I’ll ever fall out of love with food.”

Dylan first cooked in a professional kitchen at the age of 15 while on placement at Sunderland College’s former training restaurant, The Lounge.

He left Sunderland College with a level two diploma in professional cookery and then began an apprenticeship with the College and Hawthorns, at the Crowne Plaza in Newcastle.

He added: “I really enjoyed my time at the college. The lecturers were really supportive and showed me a lot of cooking techniques, and helped me to improve my skills.

“If it wasn’t for the college, I wouldn’t have had the motivation and confidence to go out and apply for this job.”

Rob Stewart, curriculum leader for catering and hospitality at Sunderland College, said: “Dylan is an extremely talented chef and has shown a great amount of commitment and passion to his studies.

“It has been a pleasure to watch Dylan’s flair for cooking develop over the years and it is no surprise that his talents have been snapped up.”