Foodservice provider BaxterStorey has taken on its first cohort of Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (RACA) apprentices as part of its commitment to developing young people in the sector.
RACA's three-year chef apprenticeship takes place through educational establishments such as Bournemouth and Poole College. Apprentices will alternate several months at a time between college and working at BaxterStorey client locations during the three years to equip them with a chef de partie-level skillset.
Three apprentices have already joined the business, based at various locations including PwC in London.
The apprentices will be working alongside experienced chef mentors Scott Dineen, Chris Jarman and Chris Terry within their locations. The mentors will introduce them to all areas of the kitchen workings, from high-end hospitality and retail. They will be supported by BaxterStorey's Andrew Aston, a RACA academician, acting as an over-arching mentor alongside the businesses' London regional culinary lead; Luke Smith, who is a former RACA specialist chef; and Nikki Woods, BaxterStorey account director and fellow RACA academician.
The apprentices include Jude, 19 who started his hospitality career in Wetherspoons before applying for the RACA apprentice scheme, Louis, 17, and Megan, 16, who pursued her passion for cooking by applying for the apprenticeship straight out of school.
Megan said: "The apprenticeship programme is brilliant for my career. Having the opportunity to learn across so many departments is going to be a great way for me to increase my skills and my confidence in the kitchen."
Jude added: "Having access to so many experienced chefs is amazing. The mentorship I'm being offered through my apprenticeship will be a massive support."
At the end of the scheme, the apprentices will sit the RACA graduation exam and, if successful, achieve the RACA chef diploma.
The three apprentices are fully embedded team members within the business and their careers with BaxterStorey will continue once they receive their diploma. In 2025, the hospitality business will look to take on six more apprentices.
Andrew Aston, head of wellness and nutrition at BaxterStorey, said: "The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Apprenticeship has been running for many years and some great chefs have come through the programme, including Luke Smith and Sam Potter from our London chef team, and Steve Wilson who is based at Winchester Cathedral.
"I absolutely loved working with specialist chef apprentices when I ran kitchens, they bring a fantastic energy to the kitchen and allow you to pass on knowledge as you guide them through their early years of working in professional kitchens."
Lisa Jenkins, CEO of RACA, added: "BaxterStorey has always shown a strong commitment to investing in young people and this partnership will help continue to develop our stars of the future."