Former student scores dream job with Sir Richard Branson

CHEF'S PARADISE: Stefan Howells (centre), RACA Young Pastry Chef of the Year 2011, with (from left) Sergio Rebecchi, Gordon Hogg, Heston Blumenthal OBE, Neil Phillips, Julia Sibley MBE and RACA chairman John Williams MBE.  Photo supplied by kind courtesy of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts.
CHEF'S PARADISE: Stefan Howells (centre), RACA Young Pastry Chef of the Year 2011, with (from left) Sergio Rebecchi, Gordon Hogg, Heston Blumenthal OBE, Neil Phillips, Julia Sibley MBE and RACA chairman John Williams MBE. Photo supplied by kind courtesy of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts.

A former Boston College and Donington Thomas Cowley High School pupil has landed a dream job with Sir Richard Branson.

Stefan Howells who turns 25 on Tuesday, is now head pastry chef at Sir Richard’s Caribbean home of Necker Island after previously working for top chefs Raymond Blanc and Marcus Wareing.

Praising Boston College, where he studied, Stefan said: “It was Boston College that prepared me for a future in catering and gave me the passion to pursue my successful career. I am currently about to fly out to start my role as pastry chef on Richard Branson’s private and exclusive Necker Island in the Caribbean.”

Steve Cottrell, programme area manager for Catering and Hospitality at the college, said: “Stefan was a catering student with us at Boston College from 2004 when he came to us from school one day a week to study catering until 2008 when he achieved his NVQ Level 2 Professional Cookery and left to work for Raymond Blanc in Oxfordshire.

“Stefan was a normal lad from Donington with the same chances as everyone else, the difference was that Stefan always had vision and ambition, he knew where he wanted to be and then worked out how he would get there, putting in the hard work along the way.

“The Catering Department have had many success stories over the years including celebrity chefs Jason Atherton and Ben Tish both going on to own numerous restaurants around the world.

“It makes us so very proud that Boston College Catering students go on to have such wonderful careers and to now have a student working for Richard Branson on his private Necker Island is ‘the icing on the cake.”

On a recent visit to Thomas Cowley, Stefan said: “I have met many amazing chefs, been to amazing restaurants and worked with some of the best chefs in the world.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re not the best or in the top 10 per cent of the class – only you can set your limits and goals in life.”

Head teacher Martyn Taylor said: “We are immensely proud of Stefan and his story clearly shows that if you combine passion and talent with hard work and dedication, you can succeed in achieving terrific things.”

In 2011, Stefan was named the Young Pastry Chef of the Year.