A new group of 32 chefs from foodservice firm BaxterStorey have graduated from its award-winning Chef Academy training programme.
More than 200 people attended the ceremony at Searcys venue 30 Euston Square, in London, with guest speaker Michelin-starred chef Alyn Williams from The Westbury, Mayfair, and consultant chef John Campbell, of the newly opened Woodspeen in Newbury, also on-hand to celebrate the graduation.
The academy has seen more than 350 students graduate from its courses since it was launched in 2003, enabling them to move into senior positions within BaxterStorey and the wider WSH business. This year, 10 chefs from independent education catering specialist Holroyd Howe also took part in the training.
The three-tiered programme offers chefs the chance to train on recognised courses, allowing them to secure qualifications such as NVQ 2, NVQ 3 and a BSC in culinary arts.
Rik Razza, head of chef development, commented: "Our academy gives us a great platform to train our aspiring chefs, and support them in achieving qualifications that will be invaluable as they develop their careers."
"As a business, we invest heavily in training and are very proud of every student who has graduated from the academy since we first launched it in 2003. It is quite remarkable and humbling to see that so many graduates have achieved so many qualifications in the 11 years that we've been running our programmes.
"Looking to the future, we are delighted that we will be able to call The Woodspeen Restaurant and Cookery School, the new home of the academy this year. Our chefs will undoubtedly gain valuable insight from John Campbell and his team."
Each course offers a number of learning opportunities, including visits to food markets; following fork to plate processes with fish and meat, fruit, vegetables, dairy; and understanding and developing their financial and leadership skills.
Alongside certificates presented to all the graduates, special awards were given on the night to 10 chefs who demonstrated excellence and commitment to food development.