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Talented Grimsby chef Briana Slack sees off thousands to reach final of prestigious Cordon Bleu

This Grimsby chef cooked up a real storm in one of the world's most prestigious contests.

Talented Grimsby chef Briana Slack sees off thousands to reach final of prestigious Cordon Bleu

Briana Slack, 20, entered the Cordon Bleu, Grande` Diplome` 2017 Scholarship Competition making it to the final five out of a field of 22,000 people, however sadly missed out on the grand prize that would have seen her awarded with a scholarship worth £38,000 to go to the world renowned Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in London.

Le Cordon Bleu has been one of the world's top cooking institutions for the past 126 years, and has seen countless Michelin Star chefs graduate from its ranks.

Despite not achieving the scholarship, Briana felt that her success in the competition has only reaffirmed her passion for cooking and baking, and now has dreams of starting her own artisan bakery in the future.

The Jamaican-born chef, who currently works at Marple's Cafe on Sea View Street, Cleethorpes, has been a passionate cook ever since she was a child, saying that most of her early memories involve her being in the kitchen watching her parents Angele and Homer cooking, and her grandmother delivering fresh baked goods on the weekends.

She said: "I had been putting off making an application video for the competition for years, but my mum finally pushed me to do it this year, and I was so shocked when I got the call to tell me that I had reached the semi finals.

"In the video I had to demonstrate my passion and talent for cooking and I explained about my dream of opening a bakery called La Joi Brie in the future.

"Following this I had to go down to London for an interview, which was really nerve racking, as I had to really sell myself and show how much I cared about cooking and baking in front of a panel of master chefs and representatives from the school, but I think that I handled myself well.

"I have been cooking since I was around 9 or 10 years old, and have always been in the kitchen from a young age watching my parents cook, and it has been a huge part of my upbringing.

"I wouldn't say that I was born with a wooden spoon in my hand, but it certainly made its way there quickly afterwards!"

Before embarking on her current culinary adventure Briana had actually wanted to go into the field of dentistry, but was talked out of it by her mother, who encouraged her to follow her passion and do something that she loves.

Angele said: "I told Briana that there are so many people in the world who do something for 20 years and regret it, so I told her to follow her passion and do something that she loves, and that is cooking.

"Briana loves science, and is also a brilliant artist, and cooking is like a perfect marriage between science and art, which is why I think that she is so talented at it.

"We still have her very first cooking set that she used as a child, and she worked her way through every recipe on her own without any help."

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Her father Homer put it best: "If Briana is sad she cooks, if she is stressed she cooks, if she is happy she cooks, if you can't find her anywhere she is probably cooking."

While Briana has proven herself to be a top quality chef, she says her real passion lies in baking, something she developed a love for from her grandmother, who used to bring around fresh baked goods every weekend for her and her brother.

Her handiwork is readily available at Marple's in Cleethorpes, where she bakes nearly all of the cakes herself, and enjoys the freedom she has been given by the owners to experiment.

Briana is also available to create bespoke cakes for your special occasions and is available on 07341669114.

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