Steve Thorpe, programme manager for food and beverage at City College Norwich, has taken a year-long sabbatical to return to working in the industry.
The groundbreaking move has seen Thorpe, a Master Chef of Great Britain, join Broad House hotel in Norwich as head chef to set up the new property's food and drink offer.
The move reflects the increasing trend of hospitality education providers working more closely with industry employers in an attempt to counter criticism from the likes of Oliver Peyton and Marco Pierre White.
The pair recently caused uproar by describing catering colleges in the UK as "a disgrace" and "a waste of time".
Thorpe, who plans to develop a fine-dining concept at Broad House, which opens on 1 September, is looking forward to developing his skills and knowledge in his new role, as well as providing opportunities for students of City College Norwich.
He told Caterer: "My role will be to help set up the relationship between the hotel and the college, and to show that business and education can work well together."
Neil Rippington, head of the Centre for Hospitality and Food Studies at the Colchester Institute, said that while Thorpe's move was unusual, he would welcome it if other colleges offered similar opportunities.
By Kerstin Kühn