Valor Hospitality, the international hospitality management company that runs Crowne Plaza Felbridge, has launched a new Chef Development Academy to encourage locals to pursue culinary careers.
Damien Doyle, Managing Director of Crowne Plaza Felbridge, said: “It is well documented in the industry that there is a shortage of hospitality skills across the sector. However, I think it’s especially important within the chef community, especially on the culinary side.
This is why we respond to the need to attract and retain talent and the program we offer is the best way to attract this talent. So it fills a need that is obviously in this industry.”
The hotel will partner with Umbrella Training to deliver the program, with a mix of 1-1 tutoring and on-the-job training, the program offers candidates the opportunity to reach chef level in five years.
The course, which is primarily practice-based, will teach trainees key culinary skills – as well as the fundamentals of working in the kitchen such as food safety, costing and menu design.
Damian explained: “The interns’ first month will be spent onboarding and getting to know the hotel and the team, becoming more comfortable in their surroundings.
“Over the next 10-12 months there will be various assessments in kitchen operations, breakfast service and they will be part of the culinary club focused on butchery, bakery and pastry.
“Then they will look at food preparation, poultry, soups and sauces, looking at all the elements that will allow a chef to grow and develop into being able to run a service in the kitchen or help with service. in a kitchen.”
While in training, trainees will receive an annual salary of £20,000 per annum and receive a full starter kit, including chef’s blanks, shoes and their own set of knives.
Valor is also offering a guaranteed pay rise to a minimum of £22,500 at the end of the initial 12 month Academy.
The team of apprentices will also undertake a number of unique, off-site, immersive experiences in venues such as Billingsgate Market and Taste of London as part of their new Culinary Club.
Damian said: “We want to create great environments where people can work, it’s not just a job and we understand that. You can get to 55 hotels within 13 km of this hotel, but here is a very good place to work. You are treated with the utmost respect, there are good facilities and good food.
“We give you the tools for the job and we provide your knives, education and your chef’s blanks.
“It’s also a fun place to work, we get a lot of recognition in terms of performance, we’re all looking to create that positive environment. You will enjoy working here.
Valor will begin the recruitment process for Crowne Plaza Felbridge in mid-May with the aim of launching the academy in August.