Masterchef Martin

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A FORMER garden centre chef is leading the kitchen of one of the country’s most luxurious hotels.

Martin Bullough, from Leigh, has secured the role of head pastry chef at the Hilton, in Deansgate, Manchester, and will be using his award-winning skills to create pastries and desserts for guests at the landmark hotel.

The 23-year-old has now left the Fresh Approach restaurant at Bent’s Garden & Home Centre where he learnt his trade over the last seven years.

Martin said: “I couldn’t have asked for a better place to start my career than the Fresh Approach Restaurant.

“I have had fantastic support throughout my training and have worked with a great team of hugely talented professionals.

“I will miss everyone very much but will be taking all I have learnt with me to my new role.”

Martin joined Bents’ Fresh Approach Restaurant as a school leaver at the age of 16 with a desire to pursue a career in catering.

Working under the guidance of Jane Milner, winner of the Academy of Culinary Arts’ Annual Award of Excellence and Andrew Bourne, one of the country’s top patissiers responsible for the Queen Mother’s 100th birthday celebrations, Martin chose to specialise in pastries and desserts.

To help him achieve his ambitions, Bents developed a personal development programme which included in-house training as well as support for his external qualifications.

Martin went on to complete his NVQ level three in Advanced Patisserie and Confectionery.

Matthew Bent, managing director of Bents Garden & Home, said: “It’s not usual for us to promote the news of someone leaving us

“But we are so proud of Martin’s achievements that we couldn’t let him go without acknowledging his great success.

“He has been part of our team for seven years during which time we have supported him and seen him develop a fantastic talent which has now been acknowledged by one of the world’s leading hotels.

“We are committed to the training and personal development of our colleagues and always do all we can to support individuals in their chosen area of expertise.

“Martin is a great example of how training on the job can result in the highest of achievements.”

In 2008, Martin won the Academy of Culinary Arts’ Annual Award of Excellence in Pastry, which recognises the talents and ambitions of young chefs and pastry chefs between 20 and 26 years of age.

Pastry chefs must show the ability to work with a number of different materials as well as excelling in creative presentation and having a basic grounding in baking and cold plate desserts.

Martin won against strong competition from the London Lanesborough, The Madarin Oriental on Park Lane and Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons in Oxford.