My name is Heather Kaniuk, executive pastry chef at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in London. In 2006, I was selected as the NZUK Link Cookery Modern Apprentice of the Year which won me a six-week work experience placement in the UK. Originally from New Zealand I moved to London on the scholarship program and stayed for longer then expected to pursue my dream and worked my way up to where I am today. I initially trained as a chef but I always had the desire to become a pastry chef. However, I believed it was essential to understand the importance of taste and seasoning in the savoury kitchen, and so I spent many years honing my skills on this side of the kitchen first. I later moved to pastry, where I enjoyed the precision and scientific aspect of patisserie. Right now I am balancing a busy work schedule with completing my degree in Hospitality Management. I am really looking forward to finishing my dissertation shortly as a lot of hard work and long nights have gone into completing it!