The Wyld Cookery School Larder

The Wyld Cookery School And My Road To St Anton.

The Wyld Cookery School (WCS) was an excellent stepping stone towards my ski season, they gave me so much help in preparation for both applications and the season itself. I took part in the course in September, but even while I was sending out applications in June Fran was great at giving me advice.

My time at the WCS was brilliant, it was super informative as well as very fun and really boosted my confidence. Fran was very helpful preparing us for the ski season even giving us all a Chalet Bible, which really helped calm my nerves before hosting paying guests. The course taught me loads about organisation and time management as well as, obviously, cooking. In my opinion these are the three most essential qualities needed to have a successful and enjoyable time in the Alps.

My season started at the end of November when I arrived in a dark car park waiting for our 24 hour coach trip out to Austria with a bunch of people I’d never met before. One thing is for sure, by the end of the trip you’ll know all about the people you sit next to, or at least their names, chalets you’re to be working in even if that doesn’t really mean anything to anyone. Training is always intense, tiring like freshers but you’re also receiving the all important training for the months ahead. Learning more about the job makes it seem even more daunting with the thought that in just two weeks you’ll have eight paying guests with high expectations.

To be honest the first few weeks as you find your feet and cook your first Christmas roast away from home aren’t going to be the best. However, once it gets to New Year and the snow arrives everything changes. You get into the pace of things and soon you don't even have to look at your recipe book as you’ll know it all by heart.

We all know that dragging yourself out of bed at 6:30 after a big night out is always tough, but the more organised you are the faster you can get breakfast service, food prep and cleaning out of the way so that you can hit the slopes nice and early, or of course go straight back to bed!

 In the evenings it is so important to be on it as soon as you walk through the door and the cooking skills taught at the WCS meant that I could have my menu and timing perfect so that the guests could have the best experience on their holiday.

The lows of my season were generally transfer days and also tidying up after my guests, but the worst was on New Years Day after they’d got very drunk and had completely turned the place upside down.

Transfer day can be such a long day - sometimes starting at 4:30 to say goodbye to guests and then not going to bed until 3 after the big Sunday night. It may seem awful at the time, but the trials always make the best stories after.

When I look back on the season, the best parts have to be the bluebird skiing when there’s fresh powder or hanging out by the ski park enjoying a beer whilst watching people attempt back flip after back flip knowing that you already have all your food prepped and evening service will be a doddle.

It’s easy to see why people become 'Seasonaires', doing season after season and if it weren’t for uni next year, I’d definitely be heading back there myself.

Madeleine Peck
WCS Seasonaire 2015