Is this the course for me?
Is the Coco ski chalet cookery course aimed only at chalet hosts?
Yes... it's for those who want to work in a chalet, big or small.
A host may work by themself in a small chalet (4-10 beds), or as a couple (who might be partners or simply 2 friends) in a bigger chalet (10-20 beds),
or as part of a team in a large chalet or hotel (20-50+ beds).
Are there any age limits?
Yes... we do not take students under 18 years old as ski companies won't employ them.
There is no upper age limit, indeed most ski companies prefer mature applicants as they will have a proven track record and
many have a 21+ restriction.
Is it suitable for my son/daughter who has just left school?
Yes & No!
Many 18 year olds are employed each year by the big companies who are looking for maturity & relevant work experience.
We have found that young students whose parents organise the course for them struggle to find jobs as they generally lack the necessary initiative.
But if a student is proactive, has some kitchen experience, and understands that the course is no picnic
then they have a good chance of finding a job (even if they are drawing on the Bank of Mum & Dad!).
Do I need any cooking experience?
Yes... a one week course will not convince any employer that you'd be a suitable host.
If you can't boil an egg or don't know one end of a carving knife from the other then you're wasting your time.
You should already enjoy basic cooking for friends &/or family, or have worked in the kitchen of a restaurant/cafe/hotel.
Do you take smokers?
Possibly... but a moderate-to-heavy smoker is unlikley to be offered a job in a ski chalet.
Employers and their guests generally don't like chalet staff who smell of tobacco,
or use fag-breaks as an excuse to dodge work.
Our Smoking Policy reflects this: the premises are strictly non-smoking;
casual smokers (i.e. one or two ciggies a day) may smoke in the garden in designated break periods after the work has been done.
If you cannot comply then please look for another course.
Will this course get me a job?
Will the course definitely get me a job?
Yes... as your chances of getting a job without real proof of your cooking skills are quite slim.
The ski job market is extremely competitive nowadays as more and more people are realising what great fun a ski season can be.
It's no longer the preserve of school-leavers and gap-year students - people of all ages are doing it, maybe escaping redundancy.
Ski holiday companies are looking for employees who are enthusiastic, reliable, flexible and customer-focussed,
who are comfortable working in the kitchen and managing a chalet household
- we can teach you how to cook chalet food & run a chalet but if you don't already have the other skills then you are unlikley to secure a job.
Employers can afford to be choosey and are looking for people who are committed to the job.
Completing our course demonstrates that commitment and will put you at the front of the queue.
BUT nobody can honestly guarantee you a job - YOU have to put in effort yourself.
In previous years, all students who put in the effort and followed our advice secured jobs (unfortunately, some students just don't listen!)
2012 seemed to be an anomalous year with some 18 year olds struggling to find jobs (due to the uni. fee changes presumably),
but those with the right skills and tenacity were winners.
Can you help me with my job application?
Yes... we can provide a course confirmation letter to prospective employers. But that's just the start!
Once you've paid for the course, you can send us your CV, cover letter & menu plan and we will immediately offer experienced advice on how to tailor it for a chalet job.
We will also send you our own Coco Ski Jobs Guide telling you how to apply for jobs, who to apply to & how to tackle the interviews.
And you can draw on our experience at any time thereafter... but YOU have to do the actual job application!
Do I have to wait for a course before applying for a job?
No... employers will be happy to offer jobs conditional on booking a course.
Early in the year, students generally do the course and then apply for jobs,
but as summer fades it becomes the norm to apply for jobs before the course starts.
We can advise on the best approach for you.
Do you have special contacts with ski companies?
Yes... we are in regular contact with many recruitment managers.
We've already completed almost a dozen seasons and formed relationships not only with our various employers
but also with many others.
We are often asked for references and companies know that our recommendation is a sign of a quality candidate which will put you at the top of their candidates.
See some of the companies that we work closely with.
What makes this course so good?
Is the Coco Chalet Cookery course the best one?
Yes... that's what our students tell us.
We will teach you everything that the employers are looking for.
We offer a flexible approach that can be tailored to your needs.
Our teacher:student ratio is unrivalled at 1:2.
Our teachers are not simply 'ski bums'; they have been trained to teach and have many years of chalet hosting under their belts.
Look how many hours of tuition you get on our course - it's not 9-till-5!
We sincerely believe that our course offers excellent value for money.
Coco courses are cheaper than others so are you cutting corners?
No... we have lower overheads and are not profit-driven.
The course is run from our own premises where we own and operate the business as well as provide the training - so we have no employee costs.
But most importantly - we enjoy our lifestyle of ski hosting and training and are passionate about helping others to do the same.
Is there much hands-on cooking?
Yes... the course is based entirely in the kitchen.
There are very few demos - you have to get your hands in the flour! - you do it all yourself under supervision.
In addition to the structured training sessions where we all cook together, you will also take charge of the kitchen for a whole day
and provide breakfast, afternoon tea & a complete evening meal with all the trimmings (and do all the cleaning!) - just as you would in a real chalet.
Is it Cordon Bleu cooking?
No... because very few ski companies require that.
If you are aiming for that market segment then we suggest you look elsewhere for training.
We would describe our cooking as 4-star dinner party standard, which is what the vast majority of companies require.
Do I get a qualification that employers will recognise?
Yes... although there is no industry qualification for chalet hosts.
You will receive a Coco Cookery course completion certificate (providing you demonstrate the required skills),
and employers will recognise this as a demonstration of your commitment to chalet hosting.
Many employers now come to us direct to grab the best students!
You will also study to achieve the Food Safety Level 2: Basic Food Hygiene certificate.
Is the food hygiene certificate of any use?
Yes... many employers are insisting on it today.
The Food Safety Level 2: Basic Food Hygiene has been built on the Royal Institute of Public Health's
food hygiene syllabus and is recognised by Environmental Health Officers (and Ski Companies).
It is CPD (Continuing Personal and Professional Development) certified.
You will receive a certificate on completion which is valid for 3 years, in accordance with industry guidelines.
Is it really an intensive course?
Yes... very intensive.
The first day starts as soon after 2:30pm as possible when everyone has arrived, and continues until after evening dinner;
the next 3 full days start at breakfast and finish after evening dinner;
the final day finishes around 1pm according to people's travel arrangements;
(there will be an hour or so off each day for local sight-seeing - or a snooze!).
So yes, they're full-on - just like a real chalet host's day.
Unfortunately we can't magic up any snow!
Does the Chalet Host's Bible contain lots of recipes?
Yes... lots, but lots of other stuff too.
The Coco Chalet Host's Bible is our own publication, 150+ pages packed with:
- recipes for breakfast, afternoon tea and 4-star evening dinners, that have all been tested at altitude
- variations for special diets, e.g. vegetarians, vegans and celiacs
- ideas for a great Christmas in a chalet
- how to clean, budget and shop efficiently
- how to give your guests a great holiday...
...and maximise your tips!
- tips on every aspect of chalet life
- dos and don'ts to have a great season
and more and more...
take a peek in the Bible now ===>>>
Do you give any help/advice before & after the course?
Yes... we can help on any chalet-related issue.
Once the course fee has been paid then we are available at any time before and after the course for any relevant query including advice on getting a job.
What are the facilities like?
Are the cooking/teaching facilities like a real chalet?
Yes... the kitchen/dining area is very typical of a chalet.
As are the cooking facilities, utensils & equipment etc.
There are no industrial scale stainles-steel workstations with food-processors and zillions of pots & pans & gadgets.
You will be hands-on with the tutors and expected to cook and clean too.
Is the accommodation as good as a real chalet ?
Yes... we run the course in our own home/office.
We overlook the stunning River Cleddau, which arguably is as splendid as the Alps!
There is one twin-bedded room, another with a double plus single beds, and occasionally we use a single bed in the study depending on the mix of students.
The bathroom is shared.
Students have use of wi-fi, TV etc.
So the accommodation is fit for a chalet guest but chalet hosts usually have to put up with far worse in resort!
Are you easy to travel to?
Yes... we are based in Neyland, Pembrokeshire.
It's about 2.5 hours drive from the Severn Bridge along the M4 and dual-carriageways, with plenty of free parking.
There are good rail connections to our local mainline station, Johnston (between Haverfordwest and Milford Haven),
e.g. from London or Manchester leaving around 9am & arriving around 2:15pm.
Trains from other parts of the country meet these services at Swindon, Bristol, Newport, Cardiff or Swansea.
We are happy to collect you from the 2.15pm train at Johnston, which is ideal for the 2:30pm start time, and we will return you to the station on Friday for the 1:15 train.
There are also National Express coaches direct to Neyland.
Are there lots of students on a course?
No... we take a maximum of 4 students.
This ensure everyone gets full attention from our 2 tutors.
How do I book & pay?
Is the booking process straightforward?
Yes... simply complete our booking form.
It's that simple!
Can I get a discount for booking multiple places?
Yes... you can book as an individual, or as a couple.
A couple might be in a relationship or simply 2 friends, but it is assumed that they are applying for a job together
and therefore receive 1 copy of our Chalet Host's Bible and 1 hygiene certificate, and a generous discount.
There are generally no further discounts for booking 3 or 4 places as it's unlikely you will all be applying to work together.
Talks to us before booking if your circumstances are different.
Do I pay a deposit & when do I pay the rest?
Yes... a deposit of £100 per person secures your booking.
When you complete the booking form you will be automatically linked to our Payments page to pay the deposit.
This is paid via Paypal because it is immediate. We can take a cheque or bank transfer but the time delay risks losing your place.
The balance of the course fee is due no later than 6 weeks before the course - there is a link to our Payments page at the foot of the Home page.
We accept Paypal or cheques or bank transfers for the balance.
Is Paypal safe?
Yes... Paypal is a reputable internet service.
It enables anyone to send money to someone else.
It's safe and secure with a responsive complaints procedure when needed.
You do need to have a Paypal account to use it but the sign-up procedure is very simple and the account is funded from your debit or credit card.
We do not see your card details at any time.
Do I automatically get my money back if I have to cancel?
No... it's rather like booking a holiday.
The deposit is non-refundable - it secures your place on the course.
If you have to cancel once full payment has been made then we cannot automatically refund your money.
However, we will do our best to re-sell your place in which case we will refund the balance,
less reasonable administrative costs, and less any discount we may have to offer to attract a replacement booking.
N.B. We will not cancel your course unless there are very extreme circumstances, in which case we will give a full refund.
Ski Companies are recruiting right now and our courses are filling up fast.