Simon Boyle's Beyond Food foundation has employed 13 homeless and at-risk apprentices to begin training at Brigade Bar and Kitchen in Southwark, London.
The restaurant and foundation alike both focus on upskilling homeless and at-risk people in the capital - and this year's scheme has been Beyond Food's most successful to date, with 30 graduates completing workshops aimed at motivating and inspiring people towards work.
Of those who have taken up the challenge, 10 are due to join the kitchen while the other three focus on front of house. Alongside their work at brigade and a network of support provided by the Beyond Food Foundation, apprentices will receive training via BaxterStorey's in-house training and academies programme.
Brigade Bar and Kitchen was refurbished and relaunched late last year to allow for even more disadvantaged people to be given new skills under the operation. This was accompanied by a new char-focussed menu of rustic social dishes including smoked bone marrow, pickled shallots & flat parsley salad with beef dripping focaccia; and roasted celeriac, white bean hummus, pea shoots, bitter leaves & truffle dressing.
Boyle, winner of the Extra Mile award at the 2018 Foodservice Cateys, said: "Using food, we're giving people in hugely difficult situations the ability to develop the stability and skills they need to sustain themselves. This programme is about inspiring futures beyond homelessness and it's truly inspirational to be part of. We've got an amazing cohort of apprentices this year and, though we're just starting on this journey, I can't wait to see them develop and grow, both as chefs and as people."
For more on Brigade and how hospitality can offer a lifeline to the homeless check out In From The Cold - the third feature in our ongoing staffing series - in this week's edition of The Caterer.Get The Caterer every week on your smartphone, tablet, or even in good old-fashioned hard copy (or all three!).