Culinary careers beckon with launch of Chef Academy

Newcastle-based pub company The Inn Collection Group is aiming to address a skills shortage in the hospitality industry, as it opens applications for the first intake to its brand-new chef academy.

Working with Michelin-trained chef Matthew Benson-Smith and his Benson-Smith Training Academy, the exciting opportunity has a total of ten places available in its first cohort and is open to anyone who sees their future as the next big culinary star.

No prior chef experience is required by applicants, with the successful candidates being drawn from those that display the raw ingredients of enthusiasm, passion and creativity and a willingness to learn.

The fully-funded opportunities will be hosted at six of The Inn Collection Group’s properties in the north east and north west, with sites in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, North Yorkshire, Cumbria and Lancashire currently earmarked to provide the kitchens that the academy members will complete a Level 2 Commis Chef apprenticeship.

A 12-month course of study, the Chef Academy will see participants learn everything from creating sumptuous stocks and sauces and knife skills to expert preparation of meat, game & vegetables, all under the watchful eye of the former chef to the UK Prime Minister.

Setting The Inn Collection Group’s opportunity apart from other opportunities in the market, learning and development manager Ashleigh Fenwick has worked with The Benson Smith Academy to add an array of masterclasses and enrichment opportunities.

Ahead of the commencement of The Inn Collection Group’s Chef Academy, group head of food Tom Adlam and Chef Benson-Smith will host a shortlist of applicants on a three-day taster session that will offer a flavour of all aspects of the programme of study.

Speaking as applications open, The Inn Collection Group’s learning and development manager Ashleigh Fenwick said: “The Inn Collection Group’s Chef Academy will be market-leading in its approach to training and developing the next generation of Chefs.

“An apprenticeship is a fantastic way to learn skills while you earn and while you are in the workplace and to gain industry experience.

“We’re looking for really passionate people who have the desire to learn new skills and come and work for an exciting growing business.

We are incredibly proud to be partnering with Chef Benson-Smith Academy and can’t wait to meet our first cohort of budding chefs!’

Explaining the decision to partner with The Inn Collection Group, Matthew Benson-Smith said: I started at The Black Swan in Helmsley which is now one of The Inn Collection Group’s properties.

We like to work with businesses that are really passionate about training young people and forming their skills for the future and The Inn Collection Group have a real focus for that.

The focus will be on learning skills from the very basics all the way through to more complex things. We are all really passionate about getting as much into the course as possible so that the students learn what they need to learn.

Tom Adlam, head of food at The Inn Collection Group said, “What we are really keen to do is to bring that next wave of people into our business and inspire them within the business and the industry.

“It is well documented that hospitality is having a difficult moment in its history in attracting people to the industry and our Chef Academy will help us to attract brand new talent to our company.”

To apply for open Chef Academy positions, click for The Black Swan, click for The Stables, click for The Commissioners Quay Inn, click for The Seaburn Inn