Paul Leonard // Michelin Star Chef

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Why did you choose to study at Hull College?

I chose Hull College because of the reputation, also the standard of facilities and lecturers.

What did you enjoy most about studying at Hull College?

The way of teaching by the lecturers was fantastic. It kept you interested and made you remember the correct way of doing things; I still use a lot of the basics today in my kitchen.

What has been your career path up until now?

I worked at Willerby Manor just outside Hull as a Kitchen Porter and Commis Chef. I then moved to London to work for Marcus Wareing in his 2 star Michelin restaurant. After that I moved back north and worked in a number of very good restaurants and hotel.

I became sous chef of Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles which is Scotland's only 2 star Michelin restaurant before moving to Eriska 2 years ago as Head chef at the Isle of Eriska Hotel. We gained our own Michelin star here. So that puts us in the top restaurants in the UK and the world.

What does your job involve?

Running the kitchens at the Isle of Eriska, all the food offerings come from my kitchen. We also grow all of our own vegetables and forage for wild ingredients. Teaching the brigade and been a big part of the community.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Going down to London to be awarded a Michelin star at the first ever live event for Michelin UK. I was rubbing shoulders with the best chefs in the world and it felt amazing.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

I will one day have my own restaurant with rooms back home in Yorkshire. Hopefully we will carry on the success we have enjoyed so far in my career.

Have your studies helped you to achieve your career aims?

100%, it gave me the foundations on which to build for the future. The lecturers are still in contact now for support when it’s needed.

What would you say to inspire current and future students?

Hull College is a fantastic place to learn; my own journey has proved that anything is possible. Hull College provides you with everything you need, add some discipline and hard work and reach for the stars.

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