Contract caterer Elior has launched the Elior Chef School, a project dedicated to the training and development of chefs within its business.

Conceived by learning and development manager Tammy Starling, the chef school will feature interactive workshops by senior Elior chefs as well as industry talent including Anton Edelman.

Students cover different monthly topics, from butchery and bread making to sauces and seafood, while working towards a Level 2 NVQ, with the majority of the sessions held at Elior's flagship development kitchen at Waterstone's Piccadilly in London.

Commenting on the motivation behind the new training programme, Starling said: "By taking chefs away from busy kitchens where they feel under pressure to not make mistakes, and giving them time in a learning environment to be expressive and creative, they improve quicker.

"They become more confident in their role, benefit from an expanded repertoire and their overall quality of cooking is better."

Many Elior suppliers are involved with the programme, supplying ingredients for the classes and hosting visits. Among other locations, students have visited Billingsgate Fish Market to learn about sourcing fresh ingredients, with a fishing trip and a farm visit lined up for this year's class.

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By Janie Stamford

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