New Chef Academy launched by Young's and Geronimo


New Chef Academy launched by Young's and Geronimo

New Chef Academy launched by Young's and Geronimo

A brand new Chef Academy has recently been launched by HGEM partners Youngs's and Geronimo, as the company looks to invest in young talent.

Situated in Wandsworth, the Academy offers training for talented individuals who make it through the rigorous application process to gain vocational qualifications in-house. The Academy offers candidates the chance to work towards the NVQ level 2 in professional cookery and the NVQ level 3 in hospitality management. Candidates are also trained in the supervisory skills necessary to manage back of house activities.

Under the tutelage of Chris Knights (Executive Chef at Young's) and Jono Jenkins (Director of Food at Geronimo), there are currently 20 trainees working towards the level 2 award and 24 towards the level 3; plans for another tier of candidates are in the pipeline for 2016.

Bold action and investment in new talent comes as a breath of fresh air when considering the fact that many in the industry will remember 2015 as the year that the increasing chef shortage concerin in the UK gathered momentum and piqued the interest of the mainstream media. Even top chefs such as Michelin-starred Daniel Clifford spoke up on the importance of addressing the issue before it leads to the demise of good restaurants. In an article published by BigHospitality last year, Clifford stated: "It's up to us to go into schools and colleges and get youngsters interested". Additionally. Noma's Rene Redzepi penned an article for food publication Lucky Peach, blaming a kitchen culture which not only fails to nurture young chefs, but actually drives them away.

Patrick Dardis, retail director at Young's, commented: "We are committed to re-investing in our chefs at a time of skilled shortages in the industry. The Academy gives our chefs the support and knowledge to allow them to showcase their creativity and innovation back in their respective kitchens."

Other training and staff development opportunities run by Young's include: Kitchen Diary- a selection of masterclasses in a wide range of industry areas including butchery, financial management and food hygiene refresher courses. They offer 'Vegucation' too, a course which challenges chefs to use their creativity and experiment with unusual ingredients. They also facilitate Chef Forums where they can gain inspiration from others and meet new suppliers.

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