Meet YNCOTY finalist Jacob Gosselin, demi chef de partie at Longueville Manor Hotel
Jacob is currently working as a demi chef de partie at Longueville Manor Hotel and Restaurant in Jersey where he has been for the last three years. His culinary training was completed at Highlands College with three years of training gaining him a Level 3. His career first began at a café in Jersey, however, he soon realised it wasn’t where his passion was, so he made the move to Longueville at the age of 16 and began a six-month work placement.
The thing Jacob loves most about being a chef is that you can go anywhere in the world with cooking and everywhere you go the food is different. He thinks it’s amazing learning and seeing how other nationalities use their local produce and how different it is from somewhere like home.
From a young age, he was always helping out with a family BBQ or assisting his dad and mum with the dinner. This heavily influenced his decision to be a chef as it was something he always enjoyed doing. Like many children, he did have dreams of being a footballer but being a chef was always what he describes as his achievable goal in life.
His college lecturers have inspired him the most as they really pushed him during his time there. He’s also inspired by the executive head chef of Longueville, Andrew Baird, because of the classic cooking techniques he has taught Jacob.
One of the things he enjoys about competing is the fact you can see how much you can push yourself under pressure and how far you have come in a short amount of time. He also likes the adrenaline you feel when you’re sending the food to the judges; making sure everything is perfect as you plate up a dish which you have created.
Jacob is over the moon to have this amazing opportunity to show himself and others how much he has improved in the last three years. He knows it is a prestigious competition and would encourage anyone to give it a go. Winning would simply feel surreal and like a dream come true for him.
During lockdown, Jacob looked after his mum, dad and nan as they were unable to leave the house. He did all the shopping for them as well as staying at work, where he was part of the lockdown team. This involved making sure the hotel was well looked after and everything was maintained.
In preparation for the final he has had great support from the kitchen team at Longueville as well as from local suppliers. The biggest challenge he has faced was creating his dessert as he hasn’t had much experience in the pastry department, but he has overcome this by researching and developing his skills in his spare time. Jacob believes that one good thing that has come out of this crisis, and living on an island, is that most people have gone back to local sustainable produce because it was hard to get food into Jersey.