Simon Curran discusses a typical night in Harrods
Simon Curran decided to study a BSc (Hons) Baking Technology & Management degree at the UK's premiere baking school, LSBU's National Bakery School (NBS).
The learning methods on the course suited Simon down to the ground, as he learns best when working hands on and seeing demonstrations. Simon found the most interesting aspect of the course to be bakery science, as he hadn't realised how much science is involved in baking until he took the course.
"My experience at LSBU has been life changing, it's really given me the knowledge and experience I need to succeed in my industry. It has also taught me a lot of life skills, moving away from home and living on my own. The National Bakery School facilities are very good and the lectures go above and beyond to help you whether it is university related or personal. It is a very close knit community compared to other departments throughout the university."
A typical night in Harrods
Students at the National Bakery School also are given opportunities to go on placement. One of Simon's placements was within the renowned bakery at Harrods Knightsbridge store. "It was very hard work, with long and tiring hours on the night shift. I carried out all bakery duties: mixing, moulding, baking and finishing products. I learnt a lot about how to produce a large quantity of products but still keeping the high standard that Harrods demand."
Working from 10pm, Simon started his shift setting up the utensils, ingredients and recipes needed for the night's production. He weighed and mixed the doughs before dividing and moulding them and placing on trays in the prover. From there they were transferred to the oven, baked and cooled down and sent to the various shops or restaurants through Harrods.
During his time at LSBU Simon represented the Bakery School at the City Food Lecture 2013 and also won the prestigious Rank Hovis Scholarship 2012. According to the Rank Hovis judges, Simon demonstrated the passion and professionalism they were looking for.
The scholarship involved a six day tailor-made course offering unrivalled access to various areas of the baking industry. Simon visited flour mills, testing centres, bakery sites as well as Rank Hovis Technical department and head office.
When he graduates, Simon believes he will now be in a good position to a secure job within a large baking company and climb the ladder to attain some job-security. "The course I have undertaken has really broadened the range of jobs that I can now apply for. I'd recommend LSBU to anyone – it has been a life changing experience."