Rising Star: Selin Kiazim

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Westminster kingsway college, Cooking

Rising Star: Selin Kiazim
Every month here on BigHospitality we bring you an insight into the hottest catering and hospitality talent of the future in our Rising Stars section. This month Westminster Kingsway College student Selin Kiazim talks about her inspirations and aspirati

ons as she prepares for a career in the industry.

Rising Star:​ Selin Kiazim

Age:​ 22

Course title and college:​ Professional Chef Diploma, Westminster Kingsway College, London

Graduation date:​ July 2008 (with Distinction)

When did you first realise you wanted to work in hospitality?:​ I studied A Levels in Art and Graphics and then followed that with an Art Foundation course. During this time I found that my passion for cooking was far greater than art. Nothing was as exciting as cooking and I always wanted a career in something that I would enjoy. Within the first week of my course at Westminster Kingsway College I knew I had made the right choice.

What have been your biggest achievements to date?:​ Some of the highlights would have to be winning two gold medals at Hotelympia and reaching the final of Taste of Mexico 2007, where the prize along with five others was a trip to Mexico to learn about their food and culture. However, my biggest achievement would have to be winning the NZ-UK Link Foundation 2007 Culinary Competition. As a result of winning I got to travel to New Zealand for five weeks on a working trip where I gained priceless experience into their food and culture.

Where would you most like to work when you graduate?:​ I recently joined Providores, the restaurant owned by Peter Gordon. I met Peter through the NZ-UK Link competition and was fortunate enough to spend some time at his Dine restaurant in New Zealand. It was here that I fell in love with his style of cookery and saw a fantastic opportunity to learn from him, so I pursued a job in London with him.

Who do you most admire in the hospitality industry and why?:​ There are two people I admire immensely and they are both lecturers at Westminster Kingsway College. Vince Cottam and Simon Stocker not only do their job, but they also put in time with students above and beyond what is required of them in order to achieve the best. Not only in college but also at outside events. I admire anyone who puts in extra work in order to benefit others and not just themself. In particular I admire Vince Cottam who mentored me throughout all of my competitions and I will always admire him for everything he taught me and for knowing how to get the best out of me.

What are you looking forward to most when you graduate and start work?:​ I am looking forward to honing my skills as a professional chef and learning more and more about new foods at Providores. Also in October 2008 I will be competing at the culinary Olympics in Germany with the British Junior team. We will be competing in live and static categories. This is going to be a huge challenge but one that I can’t wait to do. What I most look forward to in the future is travelling around the world working and learning about local cuisine.

What do you think will be the biggest challenges you will face in your career in the hospitality industry?:​ I guess my ultimate goal is to get to a stage in my life where I am recognised in the industry as a fantastic chef, which I believe will be a big challenge as I am a woman. This is simply due to the nature of a male dominated industry. I have also recently decided that one day I would love to have my own restaurant. This will be a huge challenge as everyone knows that being a restaurateur is one of the most demanding jobs in the world, and actually making it successful is even harder.

Do you know any Rising Stars? If you are a tutor on a hospitality and catering course and would like to put forward a student, or if you are student and want to tell us about your future plans email us at arjf@ovtubfcvgnyvgl.pb.hx

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