Training

Former LVS Autistic learner cooks with Raymond Blanc

By James Evison contact

- Last updated on GMT

Liam Pope (left) with Raymond Blanc
Liam Pope (left) with Raymond Blanc
A former learner at Licensed Victuallers' School (LVS) Hassocks has cooked with celebrity chef Raymond Blanc at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Liam Pope, who is 19 years old, was invited by Blanc to work with his team of chefs after winning the national Sodexo Young Chef of the Year competition in October 2015. 

His interest in cooking began after he started at LVS Hassocks, a day and residential school located in West Sussex school for learners aged eight to nineteen with a diagnosis on the autism spectrum.

Pope said the school have given him the ability to be independent - and cooking for himself had triggered his interest in hospitality as a career

He said: "LVS Hassocks also allowed me to cook in the school kitchen with the catering team there to get used to the equipment and what to expect - and also set up valuable work experience for me with the Yummy Pub Co at The Wiremill in Surrey”.

At the flower show, Pope worked on dishes for the Royal Family, Piers Morgan and Ainsley Harriott as part of a £500-a-head set menu, which served between 700 and 1,500 visitors each day.

Pope did a 6.30am to 11pm shift, covering breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.

He said: “Raymond said thank you for the hard work and that he appreciated what we had all put in to the week.

"He also said it was the best quality food that had been served up at the show and that he wants us back again next year too."

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