Back in April 2019, we interviewed Ryan Hyslop, a Professional Cookery student who had recently come third in the prestigious Wing Yip Young Chef Competition.
His Level 3 course finished that same month and Ryan immediately landed a job at Browns Brasserie & Bar, part of the M&B brand, as a chef de partie (in charge of a particular area of production) running the fish and pasta service line.
Ryan's ambition once he left college was always to work on a cruise ship, so he was applying for roles whilst working at Browns. In November 2019 he was asked to join a ship in Portugal within days, however, not wanting to let his fellow team members down over the busy Christmas period, he asked for a postponement until early 2020.
In January 2020, Ryan was again offered a posting on a cruise ship, which he accepted. He was “over the moon” and, thinking he was due to start early March, Ryan arranged a leaving party with friends and family in February. However, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19, the start date kept being pushed back and back. Fortunately Ryan was put on the furlough scheme, which at least ensured him an income. In September 2020, the cruise company finally said that there would be no opportunities to sail any time soon, and Ryan was let go.
It didn’t take too long for Ryan to find another job, though. Rather than just looking for vacancies, he was very proactive in contacting potential employers and selling himself and his skills. He soon found himself working at a local Vietnamese restaurant, where he managed a couple of months work before the next lockdown kicked in pre-Christmas.
As of January 2021, Ryan is furloughed again. But that hasn’t stopped him using his time productively, experimenting with new dishes to add to his impressive culinary repertoire. It isn't all work and no play, though. In between his culinary explorations, Ryan has spent time reading the full Harry Potter series and building Star Wars Lego models.
“There is so much uncertainty at the moment,” Ryan told us. “My future plans will be looked at again, once some form of normality returns. I still want to travel. But I guess we are all in the same boat - though for me, I’d have much preferred a cruise ship.”
Thanks to his culinary talents, work ethic and adaptability, we've no doubt that Ryan will be first on board when the cruise ships set sail once again.