Ben Tish has said apprentices are important "now more than ever" as the industry faces staffing shortages following Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.
He was speaking to fellow chef Rob Kirby, who recently left his role as chef-director of caterer Lexington to open his own restaurant Market Kitchen in Palma, Mallorca, as part of a series of interviews marking the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts' (RACA) 40th anniversary.
Tish, culinary director of the Stafford London, said: "We need to now more than ever invest back into what's homegrown in the UK, and that is through apprentices. We're throwing ourselves at it… more than ever, we've got to really invest our time in that to bring chefs up the ranks."
Both chefs have been involved with RACA including supporting its Adopt a School programme and Tish also created a dish for the Academy's virtual fundraising dinner last month, has taken on apprentices and entered members of his team for the Annual Awards of Excellence.
Tish said the pandemic had spotlighted the importance of looking after the people of a business: "Take care of your team, look after your team. You cannot do this without a solid team… people need to be looked after, patted on the back and made to feel special," he said.
He also discussed the feasting boxes he designed for the Stafford's Norma restaurant in Fitzrovia, which he intends to continue after reopening.
"Once you find out what works and what travels and what people want and you get it right, it's a fantastic business model," he said.
"You only make what people order, you've got a timeframe, you build up a relationship with the courier, it's a good money-spinner... it's lucrative, and so we're going to continue it. Out of adversity comes opportunity."