A 29-year-old sales assistant from Leeds has bagged Le Cordon Bleu London's UK Scholarship Award 2016, worth more than £35,000, and promises to use it to change careers to pursue his dream of becoming a pastry chef.
Keiron Murphy was one of a record number of applicants for the prestigious competition. The final was fought out by 14 contenders in an all-day battle at the culinary arts, wine and management school yesterday.
Murphy is a recent convert to the art of the pastry chef and previously had no idea he could be creative with food. He discovered his bent for baking only when he began a one-day a week cake decorating class alongside his job in retail.
Graeme Bartholomew, Le Cordon Bleu Pâtisserie master chef and part of the scholarship judging panel, commented: "Keiron showed dedication and was clearly inspired. He knew he was in a job he didn't want to be in, so he took a chance on a cake decorating course which showed him where his true passion lies. His motivation and eagerness to learn new techniques and skills in management to develop his own business was what really made him stand out."
Murphy said: "I don't think of anything else other than cakes and cake decorating. I can't wait to pursue my dream and gain all the skills I need in pâtisserie. There are so many things I want to learn. Being given the opportunity to train at Le Cordon Bleu is a privilege that only a few people can claim. The calibre of talent and prestige that the institution holds is phenomenal. I feel honoured."
After triumphing in the practical tasks during yesterday's final, Murphy has won a place on the coveted Diplôme de Pâtisserie followed by a three-month Diploma in Culinary Management, accommodation in central London courtesy of Urbanest, and an internship at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea where Clare Smyth has been head chef for the past six years and became the first British female chef to hold and retain three Michelin stars.
Smyth was one the partnering chefs for the competition alongside, Anna Hansen, Frances Atkins, Will Holland, Mark Greenaway and Simon Hulstone.
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