Operational Empowerment

Craft Scholarship

Craft Scholarship 2017
Aisha Elshani, Head Chef at Honeycomb and Co in Edinburgh

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"I’m currently Head Chef at Honeycomb and Co in Bruntsfield in Edinburgh.  I joined them in April ahead of them opening in May 2017.  Before that I worked at The Scottish Café and Restaurant.

I work in an environment where keeping up to date with current trends is very important and I want to do this to the best of my ability so I need to keep learning and to keep pushing my own boundaries.  I was delighted to take part in the HIT Pastry Masterclass scholarship in 2015, and this year I applied for a Craft scholarship to help me improve my overall techniques and skills.

I also want others to benefit from my learning, so any knowledge I gain I continue to pass on to others through the night class I teach once a week.  It’s great for me to have the opportunity to do that, as I really feel I’ve given back to the industry and am helping others perfect their own cooking skills.

I always like to be inspired by the best people the industry has to offer, so it was great to get the opportunity to work with BBC Bake Off Crème de la Crème winners Helen Vass and Mark Tilling who were creating the dessert for the HIT POETS Lunch at the Doubletree by Hilton in Glasgow.

Producing a dessert for over 500 people isn’t easy!  They created a Madagascar dark chocolate mousee with Scottish raspberry jellies, pistachio air sponge, and macerate raspberries.

Helen and Mark were great teachers and were positive throughout, you felt like part of their team even though we had only just met.  The main lesson was to be very well prepared when producing something for so many people!  The dessert was stunning and I learned numerous techniques. It was amazing to see the finished 550 plated desserts, and I can't wait to recreate it for my customers.

I’d definitely recommend a craft scholarship to any chef looking to improve their techniques or learn new skills, as it’s an experience that can only help you in your quest to be the best in a professional kitchen!

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Helen Vass added:   “I am so proud to be involved with HIT Scotland as they are a charity that have supported me from the start of my career and now I feel it is my time to pass on what I have learned to the future chefs of our industry. Aisha was great fun to work with and so keen to learn new things that she can apply in her current job.  Any time Aisha needs help or has any questions, I will always be open to help her out.”

Aisha must be doing well, she was spotted doing one of the pastry demonstrations at the Foodies festival!