A former Northampton College student has been named as one of the best chefs in New York by a top food critic.
Laurie Jon Moran, aged 32, who lived in Northampton from the age of 12 and completed his professional chefs course at the town college, now works as executive pastry chef at Le Bernardin, one of the best restaurants in the Big Apple.
Mr Moran said: “I knew I wanted to be chef at a very young age. I remember coming to Northampton College for an open day, the teachers being very highly skilled and very passionate about teaching.
“I remember on one of my first days the teacher tasked me with a very complex gateau and said he gave it to me specifically because he knew it was difficult and he knew I liked a challenge.
“Throughout the course he kept giving me the most complicated tasks and I loved it I felt I got a very good education here. And I know that at the end I was as well prepared as I could have been for the real world.”
Before moving to New York, Mr Moran worked at St. Martin’s Lane Hotel in London and worked for Raymond Blanc at Oxford’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.
Mr Moran said: “When I studied at Northampton College, I was a very focused and dedicated student.
“I followed my passion but to be a great chef it also takes a lot of hard work and dedication. You have to go through a lot of annoying, tedious and difficult processes but then again, the most tedious things can be the most rewarding.”
“I’ve always been very competitive. You have to be competitive with your colleagues but most importantly competitive with yourself. Even at the college I always tried to be better, faster and more accurate.“
Mike Coppock, catering programme leader at Northampton College and one of Laurie’s tutors said he always thought he was a “star” student.
He said: “Laurie competed in many competitions and I remember him winning at the Bedford food festival. When he left the College after completing his level 3 professional chefs course, he went to work for Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxford where he stayed for about four years.
“During this time he won the national chef of the year organised by the Craft Guild of Chef’s in London. He has been back to the College on a few occasions and demonstrated his skills to new students. We’re proud of him.
”We have students each year that leave the college and work in 4/5 star hotels and multi rosette or Michelin star hotels”.