Hospitality development platform White Rabbit Projects has launched a training programme for chefs supported by Leiths School of Food and Wine.
The White Rabbit Academy will see places fully or partial funded by a £750,000 Leiths scheme designed to help the hospitality staffing crisis.
Budding chefs will train at a White Rabbit Project-operated venue within the AJ Capital-owned hotels it works with in partnership across the UK, which include the Rusacks St Andrews, the Marine in North Berwick, the Randolph by Graduate in Oxford and the Graduate in Cambridge, with a senior member of the kitchen team taking on a seven-month mentor role. At the same time, trainees will undertake Leiths 24-week online Chef's Skill Course.
All graduates will have the opportunity to be hired as chef de parties and join a restaurant backed by White Rabbit, which has included Lina Stores and Kricket.
One of the newly-qualified chefs will be offered a fully-funded, two-week stagier at a White Rabbit Projects restaurant of their choice.
Eight spaces on the scheme are available, with applications extended until mid-October.
White Rabbit Projects was founded by former Soho House group commercial director Chris Miller in 2016 and works with early-stage chefs and restaurants to launch and grow their businesses. The company has a portfolio of 34 sites.
Miller said: "It is the responsibility of restaurant owners to remind chefs of the excitement and passion that comes with working in a professional kitchen and add value to their careers with additional training."
Camilla Schneideman, managing director of Leiths, added: "As a cookery school at the heart of the sector, we canvassed the opinions of chefs and restaurant groups to establish how we could best serve the industry we take great pride in training people for at this time of staffing crisis.
"The one tool that we have in our armoury which can reach a large number of people is the range of Leiths online professional courses. The courses can be taken anywhere as long as you have kitchen space and a smartphone, and can fit around shifts."
Those interested in applying can submit a cover letter to email@example.com stating why they'd like to be considered to join the Academy, alongside a picture of their favourite dish cooked during lockdown and details of why it was important to them.