Exclusive Hotels and Venues has revealed the list of 13 chefs chosen to join its newly-launched two-year training programme, the Exclusive Chefs' Academy.
The final list of six women and seven men includes chefs from Exclusive Hotels' Pennyhill Park, Fanhams Hall, and South Lodge, as well as students from Brighton and Hove College, Southampton City College, Bath College and City College Brighton.
The course has been devised by Exclusive Hotels and Venues' executive chef Andy Mackenzie, to help attract aspiring young people to the industry. The two years will include on-the-job training, supplier visits, skills workshops and masterclasses. The aim is to fast track chefs to the level of chef de partie, which traditionally can take up to five years to achieve.
Students will also have the chance to learn from chefs including Michael Wignall, head chef of two Michelin-star the Latymer at Pennyhill Park; Richard Davies, executive chef at the Michelin-star Bybrook at the Manor House; and current MasterChef The Professionals winner, Steven Edwards, who is head chef at the Camellia at South Lodge.
Candidates had to undertake a three-month selection process, including completing an online application form, taking two skills tests and attending an on-site assessment day, before Mackenzie and the judging panel made their decision.
There were originally nine places available but 13 chefs were chosen thanks to the high calibre of the final shortlist.
Commenting on the new course, Mackenzie said: "I have been overwhelmed with the quality of candidates applying to the Academy and their individual determination to secure their place. It's going to be an exciting and challenging two years ahead."
Exclusive Hotels and Venues is a portfolio of five-star hotels and events venues, which also include Lainston House, near Winchester, Hampshire, and the Royal Berkshire in Ascot, Berkshire.
FULL LIST OF STUDENTS
Charlotte Warrender, The Royal Berkshire
Oliver Geering, South Lodge
Joel Darby, University College Birmingham
Magdalena Ordak, Southampton City College
Luke Hedger, Pennyhill Park Hotel
Stuart Turner, Southdowns College
Lewis Sparey-Wells, Bath College
Holly Stewart, Fanhams Hall Hotel
Megan Curtis, Southampton City College
George Martin, Brighton & Hove College
Rachel Burroughs, Pennyhill Park Hotel
Alfonsa Pecoraro, Fanhams Hall
Jackie Drynan, Brighton & Hove College