Foodservice firm Catermasters saw six more chefs graduate from the company's Chef Academy, taking the total number to successfully pass through the training scheme to 23 in the four years since it was launched.
The initiative aims to give staff that have demonstrated a passion for food preparation the chance to become fully-qualified chefs within the Catermasters business.
This year's class were taught all of the skills that are relevant in today's kitchen environment and they achieved the level two NVQ in professional catering qualification.
This year's graduates were Mike Balugan, Gesaine Gouveia, Greg Kiss, Gemma McMillan, Sarah Mills and Claire Smith. They rounded off their 2013 Chef's Academy programme by cooking a three-course lunch for the Catermasters board of directors, some unit managers and their own clients at the Brakes Innovation Centre in Covent Garden, London.
Catermasters joint managing director Nigel Johnson said: "The group prepared a great lunch under pressure and the standard of cooking was exceptional. It's hard to believe they've only had 12 months of formal training with us, but their development shows how worthwhile the Chef's Academy is. It allows people to fulfil their dreams of becoming chefs and blossoming within the industry.
"The fact that we've had 23 graduates in only four years is great for the Catermasters business and our clients. Investing in fresh talent and playing a leading role in helping to nurture their skills is extremely rewarding and great for morale."
The students on the programme were mentored by Catermasters development chef Ryan Holmes and long-serving unit manager Clive Jones.
All the graduates received certificates, while Gemma McMillan was named Student of the Year and Claire Smith was presented with a commemorative plate to mark her victory in Catermasters' Junior Salon Culinaire competition.