21st July 2015

An apprentice chef at Crowne Plaza London - Docklands has taken the second quarterly 'Star Apprentice' title in RBH' year-long Chef Academy.

Alexandra Cristina Moraru, who started the training programme in March, was named top apprentice at the second of four Chef Academy masterclasses.

She was joined by the four other members of the Chef Academy from other parts of the UK, including Portsmouth and Manchester, at the two-day intensive session held in Bedford.

The masterclasses form part of the wider Chef Academy programme, which was designed by RBH - the UK's largest independent hotel management company - and Lifetime Training to give those with little or no experience the opportunity to forge a career in hospitality.

The specialist session focused on meat preparation and supply, and saw the apprentices take part in Masterchef-style cook-off challenges - all under the watchful eye of Adam Potten, Head Chef at Bedford Swan Hotel.

Alexandra (24) shone throughout - claiming success by impressing with her food preparation techniques on day one, before acting as 'Head Chef' for the winning team on day two's cook-off challenge.

She said: "Picking up the Star Apprentice title for this masterclass topped off a great two days. We learned so much from Adam and from our visit to the meat suppliers, as well as getting lots of hands-on training.

"Taking on the role of Head Chef for the team challenge was daunting. Thankfully, our dish went down well. Hopefully I can hold onto the title at the next two masterclasses. It's really spurred me on to work even harder during the rest of the programme."

Daniel Loosley, said: "I'm very proud of Alexandra for picking up the Star Apprentice Award. She has worked exceptionally hard to make the most of her apprenticeship, and her six-week traineeship with us prior to this.

"Our head chef and the rest of the kitchen team enjoy working with Alexandra - she's an asset to the team - so this accolade is very well-deserved."

Alexandra will be keen to continue her winning streak right up until next year's graduation - as one of the apprentices will win the coveted overall Star Apprentice award, which guarantees one week's work experience in South Africa.

Each apprentice who completes the year-long Chef Academy will gain a Level 2 Qualification in Professional Cookery, as well as guaranteed employment at Commis Chef level at one of RBH' properties for one year following graduation.