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From time to time, almost everyone who loves cooking at home will have found themselves daydreaming about jacking in the day job and retraining as a chef. There’s a something very seductive about the idea of spending your days getting creative in the kitchen, doing what you love. But then there are the financial implications, the confidence issues, the sheer terror of taking a leap into the unknown – so the fantasy goes back in the box and we get on with our lives.

According to  a YouGov survey commissioned by legendary London cookery school Le Cordon Bleu, more than 60% of people in the UK feel the same – longing to change career but held back by uncertainty and fear. Now, Le Cordon Bleu is doing something to make ‘living the dream’ that little bit easier.

Launching this year, the school’s Julia Child Scholarship offers one person a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pursue their passion, with a fast-track passport into the world of professional cooking. Named in honour of one of Le Cordon Bleu’s most accomplished alumnae, herself a career-changer (Child began her professional life as an advertising copywriter), the £45,000+ scholarship includes a place on Le Cordon Bleu’s coveted nine-month Grand Diplôme®; accommodation in London courtesy of the Londonist Student Accommodation Agency; and an internship at MasterChef icon Monica Galetti’s Mere restaurant on Charlotte Street.

Throw in one-to-one mentorship sessions with a selection of top UK chefs (including ex-Fat Duck pastry chef Hideko Kawa, Renaissance St Pancras exec chef Adam Ashe, MasterChef The Professionals quarter finalist Luciana Berry, and Bala Baya chef patron Eran Tibi, and it’s harder to imagine a more perfect springboard into a professional cookery career.

Tempted to take the plunge? Applications close at midnight on 18 April, with the final decision to be taken on 8 June 2018. So pluck up that courage take the plunge, and apply here.