"St Helens College helped me to go out into the real world and do what I was born to do."

Katie DonnellySt Helens College alumna, Katie Donnelly, kick-started her impressive career in the hospitality industry with a highly sought after role at Chef Patron, Paul Askew’s, exclusive fine dining restaurant, The Art School.

Katie had always been captivated by the fast-paced and social nature of the industry, referring to restaurant service as a “ballet performance,” and this passion has enabled her to work her way to the top-end of the industry as Senior Chef De Rang.

After completing her GCSEs at Rainhill High School, Katie joined the level 2 Diploma in Food and Beverage Service before progressing on to the level 3 Diploma in Hospitality Supervision and Leadership, which developed her knowledge, skills and confidence whilst gaining valuable work experience and establishing employer links with big players in the industry.

Speaking about her time at St Helens College, Katie said, “I gained so much from my studies at St Helens College. The course and tutors helped me to develop who I am and what I am capable of. This enabled me to go out into the real world and do what I was born to do.”

Always keen to take part in extra activities, events and competitions whilst at College, one of Katie’s proudest moments included competing against other Northwest colleges and winning first place with St Helens College at the Battle of the Northwest competition. It was whilst competing, that she was headhunted by top Chef, Paul Askew, for his Liverpool restaurant, The Art School.

Speaking about Katie, Chef Patron, Paul Askew, said, “We are very proud of Katie and everything that she has achieved. For her to come to us straight from College, having seen her in action competing at an industry competition at St Georges Hall, it was a very easy decision to bring her to The Art School. You could see her desire and passion for hospitality and her focus on customer service. It’s our job to bring out the best of her and I have no doubt that she’ll go on to achieve great things in the industry thanks to a great beginning at St Helens College.”

Since beginning her role at The Art School, Katie has already secured herself a promotion from Chef De Rang to Senior Chef De Rang, completing various training from the level 2 WSET wine and spirits course to barista training, tea training and cheese training.

Talking about her role at The Art School, Katie said, “I arrive in the morning and ensure that the restaurant is cleaned to the highest standard, I then dress the tables and dress for service, ensuring my appearance is pristine at all times. I will then work the lunch, early evening and late evening service and I work hard to ensure that each guest who comes through the door feels like they are the most important person in the restaurant. I want to make it a memorable fine dining experience that they will not forget.”

Katie added, “The Art School is such a great place to work and I have developed so many skills. The restaurant has attracted many wonderful guests who have inspired me. I am grateful to have met them.”

Katie hopes that one day her dedication and determination to succeed will enable her to take her skills and her career to an international level.

Level 3 Diploma in Hospitality Supervision and Leadership

Senior Chef De Rang, The Art School

Joined us from
Rainhill High School