D&D London has announced it will be permanently rolling out its chef training programme after seeing 50 of its summer school participants join the business.
D&D initially launched the scheme in response to the sector's staffing crisis to train people with little or no previous experience looking to enter kitchens.
Two courses, starting this month, have been designed by D&D London and Electric Mayonnaise to train people who have been long-term unemployed alongside charities such as Crisis and Thames Reach. Both courses will take place monthly at D&D's 100 Wardour Street restaurant in Soho.
Into Hospitality for Kitchens, a five-day intensive course, will see participants awarded with an Entry 3 Introductory Certificate. Modules will include basic cooking, organisational skills and food hygiene with a focus on teamwork, task and time management and effective communication.
The course will culminate in a cook-off for a table of judges comprising of industry experts and D&D employers, offering learners the opportunity to show off the skills they have mastered during the course and receive feedback from the judges. The final day of the course will see the participants take part in a work experience shift at a chosen D&D restaurant. Successful participants will secure employment in one of D&D's restaurants.
The second and more advanced option will be an eight-week chef de partie course, designed to cover the basics of an NVQ Level 2 in professional cookery. The course is geared towards commis chefs with at least six months to a year's professional kitchen experience and will build on their general cooking knowledge and skill. Modules will include preparing and cooking fish, meat and poultry, sauces, pastry and food hygiene skills. Learners will be accredited with a Laser Award in ‘Extended certificate in Cookery'.
D&D London, founded by Des Gunewardena and David Loewi in 2006, has 45 restaurants, bars and one hotel including South Place, Skylon, Le Pont de la Tour, German Gymnasium, Coq d'Argent, Blueprint Café and Bluebird Chelsea in London; 20 Stories in Manchester; Klosterhaus in Bristol, Issho in Leeds; Alcazar in Paris; and Queensyard in New York City.