FREE Cookery Course
YSE’s November cookery course in Val d’Isère is not open to the public – it’s just for our staff. And it is free. The cookery side is run by one of the ex-head trainers at the Grange Cooking School in Somerset, and the month of non-stop cooking is designed to bring inexperienced cooks who just love cooking up to a professional standard (although sadly we have no positions available for Small Chalet Cooks at the moment), to get professional chefs familiar with local ingredients and cooking at 6,000 feet, and to allow our many repeat chefs to experiment with and pass on any new ideas they have picked up over the summer.
The only condition for attending the course is that you must be accepted to work for YSE! You can apply on this website and if you’re successful we will offer you a job and a place on the cookery course.
And it’s not just free, we actually pay you while you’re doing the course! It also includes food hygiene, ice driving for those who need it, mountain safety, free ski and snowboard lessons – everything you could possibly want for a smooth, successful and enjoyable season.
Comments from staff who attended the course in November/December 2015 prior to the 2015-16 season:
After five years of working in London kitchens I decided it was time to head to the Alps for a ski season. I had friends who had worked for YSE before and without any previous cooking experience had returned seriously competent cooks, so I applied and got the job!
What really amazed me about the cooking course was the detail the chefs teaching us go into. You start off with knife skills and basic culinary techniques and by the end we were putting together some seriously professional looking dishes. I personally really benefited from practicing desserts, something which I haven’t had much experience of in professional kitchens.
Doing the cooking course was not only useful and great fun, it set us in great stead to deliver the high standards YSE expect for our guests.
Joey MacGibbon, Chalet Chef
I arrived at the YSE cooking course as someone with a keen interest in cooking but no professional experience. Having completed two other cooking courses in the UK I can safely say that neither were comparable to the YSE course. We covered everything from prepping meat, to food presentation, menu planning, budgeting and even sugar work, something most of us had never tried before. By the time our first guests arrived I felt more than ready to cook for them with ease thanks to all the training and it set me up for a stress free season cooking with YSE. The course in itself is reason enough to choose YSE and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
Joanna Jackson, Chalet Chef
Before doing the YSE cooking course I had very little experience cooking in kitchens for anyone else apart from my friends and family. I spent a week at a cookery school prior to arriving in Val d’Isere, but what I learnt during my month training with YSE prepared me completely for the rest of the season. Scott and Murray made it very easy to feel comfortable and eventually very confident cooking food for guests that I would have previously thought beyond me.
No one should be put of applying due to lack of experience. The YSE cooking course was amazing for me, I learnt from some of the most amazing teachers as well as many of the more experienced chefs and cooks doing the course around me.
Annabel Hartley, Chalet Cook
I don’t think I have never learned so much in such a short space of time! Coming to YSE as a novice cook, the cooking course was a big factor in my choosing YSE and it didn’t disappoint. Covering everything from preparing meats to choosing the best ingredients, catering for different diets, sugar work, presentation to hosting practice meals- we were fully prepared for anything our guests could throw at us. It was a brilliant opportunity to learn from Scott and Murray, the most patient teachers on the planet, and from the more experienced chefs on the course. If I was to do another season I wouldn’t hesitate to return for YSE- I’ve benefited hugely from the training and have had a brilliant season with great friends!
Catherine Martin-Jones, Chalet Cook
I came to the YSE cookery course after completing a season with YSE as a chalet host. I had seen first hand the extremely high standards of food YSE chefs produce and initially worried that I wouldn’t be able to cope having had no previous cooking experience at all. I was amazed at how good the course was, learning everything right from the basics of knife skills and food preparation through to presentation, menu planning and budgeting. By the time I had my first guests I was so confident and relaxed it felt like I had been cooking for years. I couldn’t recommend the YSE cookery course enough. Not only has it given me skills for life but I’ve also made friends for life too.
Chloe Caddie, Chalet Cook
I learnt more during the YSE training than I did from other cooking courses I have done. It wasn’t easy but meant that by the time first guests arrive you are cool calm and collected in the kitchen. A good cooking course is a good cooking course forever.
Having come on the cooking course with a background as a professional chef I felt sure the course, taken mostly by non-chefs, would be a waste of time. However, how wrong I was, not only did I learn loads from Scott and Murray but also found it a great chance to share ideas with the other chefs. When I think back to the training (lasting a day) I had from the company I worked for last year there is no comparison.
Tom Rees, Chalet Cook