After 14 years, Donald Sloan (pictured centre) is stepping down as head of the Oxford School of Hospitality Management at Oxford Brookes University.
From July this year he will chair the Oxford Cultural Collective, a newly formed institute dedicated to food and cultural projects worldwide.
One of Sloan’s passions has been Oxford Gastronomica, the University’s centre for food and cultural studies, which he established in 2007. It has staged events over the years bringing students and members of the public together with chefs, food writers and broadcasters.
His new venture, the Oxford Cultural Collective (replacing Oxford Gastronomica), will engage multiple audiences in food-related learning. It will have three ‘divisions’: a not-for-profit foundation focused on supporting students; a creative consultancy that will stage cultural projects worldwide; and, in time, a London-based restaurant and culinary school with a programme of cultural events. The Collective’s patrons include Ken Hom, Michael Caines, Madhur Jaffrey, Jeremy Lee and Charles Campion.
Sloan said: “My primary aim has been to create a powerful sense of community in the school. If students feel they are part of something special – a learning environment which engages and challenges them, then their skills and confidence increase and their career prospects are greatly enhanced.
“We have sought competitive advantage by creating a genuinely distinctive educational experience – one that stands out in the international market. Prospective students need to be confident that investing both time and money will ensure they develop intellectually and professionally. A key outcome of the programme is to help them build really successful careers.”
Hom commented: “Don Sloan stepping down as head of the Oxford School of Hospitality Management may be the end of one era, but the birth of the Oxford Cultural Collective is an exciting new development for all of us in the food world. This is about true creative collaboration, reflecting our shared belief that we can achieve more educational and cultural benefit together than we can alone.”
Videos from The Caterer archives