Chef’s Academy – career development for aspiring chefs

Exclusive Hotels and Venues is delighted to announce the launch of the Chef’s Academy, a career development programme created to increase opportunities for chefs within the hotel group and the UK hospitality industry. Headed up by former executive chef of Lainston House Hotel, Andy MacKenzie, the programme will run for two years with the first in-take due to commence training on 1st June 2014. Exclusive Hotels and Venues is proud to uphold a reputation for providing excellent training and career opportunities and the launch of the new programme aims to develop and retain chefs as well as attract new talent to the business.

The Academy will be aimed at commis chefs who have completed college, are committed to developing their career in the Hotel Industry, want exposure to different kitchens and have at least one year of kitchen experience.

Applications for the programme will be invited from the current team working in the kitchens at Exclusive Hotels and Venues and sourced externally. The programme will equip candidates with the skills and experience to become chef de parties across the business. The first year will cover all areas of the kitchen and in the second year participants will specialise in casual dining, fine dining, conference and banqueting or pastry.

There will be a focus around developing the palate, providing firsthand experience of how quality ingredients are produced through supplier visits and the opportunity to work with them once in the kitchen. Whilst participants will be based at one of the hotels or venues, the programme will involve off job training each week with a mixture of visiting suppliers (including trips to farms, fish markets, abattoirs, smokehouses), classroom tuition (covering kitchen management and supervisory skills) and practical cookery skills and master classes delivered by the Executive Chefs from across the business. Learning will focus on the needs of the business as well as individual development and will cover team challenges, cook-offs and external competitions.

Andy MacKenzie comments: “Having been a chef with Exclusive Hotels and Venues for over 27 years, I am really excited and very proud to be heading up this new project for Exclusive. I am looking forward to transferring my skills to these young chefs.”

Danny Pecorelli added: “We are focused on developing a field to fork experience for the chefs academy. We need to work with the very best produce so our involvement with Wellocks will enhance the chefs experience by getting to visit some of the very growers in the UK.”

Wellocks is delighted to be involved with the stars of the future and believe this new initiative will be truly groundbreaking. James Wellock added: “It’s a perfect partnership for us, as we can help take chefs into the field and get a real hands-on experience, in order understand the passion and hard work that goes into a product. I am looking forward to the challenges ahead and seeing first hand how education and a nurturing attitude can result in really talented and enthusiastic young chefs.”

January 2014