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Master chef Paul Heathcote serves up masterclass

21 February 2013

Rachel Atkinson

Paul Heathcote gives students food for thought

High achieving students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have enjoyed an entrepreneurial masterclass from Honorary Fellow Paul Heathcote MBE.

The two groups of Lancashire Business School undergraduates, who are members of the University’s LaunchPad scheme, were given the opportunity to quiz the local chef and entrepreneur on how he climbed the career ladder.

During his talk Paul highlighted how he learnt from the best people while honing his cooking talents at The Connaught Hotel, The Savoy and Le Monde aux Quat’Saison.

“The keys to success are asking good questions and mixing with really good, successful people”

Paul then left to start his own business and received two Michelin Stars in 1994.

Over the years he has developed his restaurant portfolio but told students: “Sometimes working clever and smart is better that working hard, though to achieve something you still need to work hard.”

During the session at the Harris Library, he told them: “Being a chef and an entrepreneur taught me to plan and to listen a lot.


“The keys to success are asking good questions and mixing with really good, successful people. The same can be said when you start your career in your job. Don’t go for average, go work for the best even if you start at the bottom.”

LaunchPad is a prestigious leadership and career development programme at UCLan designed to help students achieve professional goals, whether it is gaining entry to the Top 100 companies in the UK, an international career or becoming an entrepreneur. It offers a unique opportunity for students to enjoy personal mentoring and coaching from industry specialists who will provide an essential link to the business world and, in their final year, guide them through the highly competitive selection process.

“It has given us all the inspiration to actually go out and achieve our set goals”

Stephen Huyton, a BA(Hons) Marketing Management student from Chorley, said: “The presentation by Paul was really good. He’s a great inspirational speaker from the North West and has worked his way up in a successful business manner.

“It was interesting to hear how someone who comes from Bolton has turned into a nationally known businessman with a successful company. It has given us all the inspiration to actually go out and achieve our set goals.”

Francesca Walker, Launchpad Programme Leader, added: “The session with Paul Heathcote was truly inspirational on a number of levels: he’s an entrepreneur who’s successful in his own right, his vision and his drive to achieve are the messages that need to be spread at much wider level than just here.”