Michelin starred chef Gary Rhodes has praised catering colleges, revealing that attending one as a youngster "made all the difference" to his career.
"I discovered a passion for cooking at 14, but going to catering college a few years later made all the difference as it enabled me to learn solid skills that could take me forward," he said.
"It may seem like I've come a long way since, but there's really no questioning the importance of taking that initial time to get to know the ropes of your trade - it definitely sets you up for success."
His comments provide a contrast to those of fellow chefs Marco Pierre White and Gordon Ramsay.
Ramsay, who was valued at £50m in the Vocational Rich List, bought his own catering college, Tante Marie, earlier this year as he thought UK colleges were so poor and Marco Pierre White described formal education as a "waste of time" last year.
Restaurateur Oliver Peyton won no friends amongst lecturers when he described UK catering colleges as "a stop-off before you're sent off to prison" a year ago.
By Chris Druce
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