‘I have never felt so confident before in my job.’
It has been an intense few years for Emma Corscadden, Chef with Compass Group Ireland, where she has risen rapidly in the ranks to become an accomplished and highly respected chef. To date Emma has competed in Compass Chef of the year, The Food Hospitality Show Ireland, Catex and has picked up two well deserved bronze medals. To top it off, Emma has just been awarded her WorldChefs City & Guilds Commis Chef Certification. Her skills and talent have been highly recognized by Compass Group and Emma is already looking forward to her next challenge.
Emma was born into a family passionate about food. Growing up, there were always family events and occasions where Emma would help with the preparation of food. Her grandfather was a chef and her father (now retired) and brother are all involved in working in the culinary sector. With food and the culinary world a strong part of her background, Emma decided to follow in the family footsteps and finally put the ‘chef whites on’!
Working with Compass Group over the past two years has been an exciting whirlwind for Emma. ‘Every day is different’ Emma chimes as she recounts how she balances food prep, recipe ideation, food service and management in her daily work. Compass Group Ireland support Emma and the team in taking the Chefs Academy exams. Once again this involves commitment after hours taking modules such as nutrition, food service and health & safety. These courses, taken over eight months, have laid the foundation for Emma to continue to build on her career as a chef and have become central to her own personal development.
Both Ryan Holmes, Culinary Director of Compass Group and Paolo Armani, Learning & Development Chef have been extremely supportive of Corscadden’s journey so far and together they have worked late at night refining recipes and tailoring ingredients for her next competitive challenge. These competitions, reminiscent of Master Chef in Ireland, involve weeks of intense preparation and culminate in a 40 minute highly pressurized filmed session where three courses have to be cooked to perfection under the eyes of a critical tasting panel. Corscadden admits that it can be extremely nerve wrecking but she is known to keep ‘calm and collected inside’ no matter what is happening on the outside. Corscadden acknowledges that things don’t always go right and recalls one occasion where her homemade pasta broke with too much egg. There was nothing to be done but make it again and do it quickly within the allocated time. With a cool head, Corscadden not only repeated the task successfully but went on to win the bronze medal on that occasion.
Corscadden acknowledges that without the constant support and encouragement of Compass Group Ireland she would not be where she is today. They are always open to new ideas, show an active interest in her development and are giving her every opportunity available to pave her way in the future. Today, Corscadden declares, she has never felt so confident in a job. There is no doubt from talking to Corscadden, that it is her own personal drive and ambition that are propelling her forward on her route to the top and equally as a role model for future chefs. There is, in the end of the day, no replacement for sheer determination and hard work!