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From home kitchen to presenting live culinary masterclasses - how Will Owen’s placement year helped him reach the main stage.

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2 December 2021

Will Owen was used to creating and adapting recipes in his own home or the Food Academy at Harper Adams - but his placement year with BSH Home Appliances  thrust the BSc (Hons) Food Technology and Product Development Student on to the main stage.

The keen artisan baker started his placement as a culinary development intern, overseeing the marketing of kitchen appliances. He later progressed to demonstrating them at live food shows across the country.

 “At the Taste of London Food Festival, I presented a live cooking demonstration to an audience of 40 people. I also had to co-ordinate the team setting up the stage, and preparing samples for our guest chefs to try.

“This was my first experience presenting live to an audience – I had only practised online beforehand and I was nervous! But when it was my turn I found that presenting actually came quite naturally to me,” says Will.

The 22-year-old also had to adapt the recipes of culinary professionals, so that the products could be cooked on stage.

“When prepping for food shows, recipes had to be adapted so they were simple to complete live, one of my personal highlights was adapting a chocolate sourdough recipe, so that it could be cooked within our allocated time, - it also got some great feedback when it came to the tasting!”

Will, from Shrewsbury, Shropshire, has since been invited back by BSH Home Appliances to work at Countryfile Live in December and other food shows in the New Year.

“From the very start of my placement I was made to feel like I was a key part of the team and it feels really great to be invited back It’s nice to have the recognition, and to go back and get the new experiences that were postponed due to Covid-19.”

Will is now in his final year and is using his Honours Research Project to investigate using brewer’s spent grain in sourdough fermentation, and hopes his research will show how the by-product could be used to help feed a growing population.

Looking back on his Harper Adams experience, food-blogger Will says his favourite part of his degree has been the year in industry and the practical applications of the course.

“When I was looking at universities for a food related programme, none of them could compare to Harper Adams, the course’s applicability to the food industry and the placement year really helped Harper stand out from its competitors.”


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