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If by any chance you were considering packing in your current career and making 2019 the year you reinvent yourself as a chef, here’s an extra little incentive that might push you over the edge…

Titans of Continental cuisine, Le Cordon Bleu are offering anyone embarking on their diplomas or certificates in either Cuisine or Pâtisserie next year a £500 gift card by way of a seasonal sweetener. The card can be put towards any short course on the Cordon Bleu calendar, or spent on kitchen kit and branded knick-knacks from their online boutique.

The school’s diplomas are pretty much the zenith of culinary education in the UK, and can open up doors to some of the most accomplished restaurant kitchens in the world. Each diploma comprises three certificates that take three months apiece to complete (or seven weeks if you go for the intensive version). That’s at least 18 hours a week, so it’s quite a commitment. However, if you’re set on turning passion into profession, there’s nowhere better to do it – especially now you can effectively bag a whole extra short course – Wine Essentials? Tastes of Asia? Food Styling perhaps? – when you enrol (and possibly more, as £500 will easily cover two courses).

To claim the gift card, you just need to write ‘XMAS18’ next to the preferred course date section on the application form for your chosen diploma or certificate – before the offer closes on 13 December. You can find out more and apply here.

(Oh, and speaking of Christmas presents, have we mentioned that there’s another cookery school gift card available that’s guaranteed to light up any food lover’s stocking?)