Luxury hotel group bids to uncover budding kitchen talent


Applications are now open for the second intake of aspiring chefs in the Exclusive Chefs’ Academy following its inaugural launch last year by luxury country house hotel group, Exclusive Hotels and Venues.

The scheme, which provides full-time, permanent employment for up to 12 chefs per year, offers budding chefs the opportunity to develop their talent under the leadership of Exclusive’s top cooks, including Michelin star chefs Michael Wignall, Matt Gillan, Richard Davies and Olly Rouse.

Designed to tackle the hospitality industry challenges of chef recruitment and retention head on, the Exclusive Chefs’ Academy provides an opportunity for chefs to learn in two years what might typically take five if they were to undertake their own separate placements across the industry, according to the group.

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The programme consists of supplier visits, team challenges, local outside catering events and a range of supervisory workshops which take the chefs on a complete plot-to-plate intensive journey, fast-tracking them to a Chef De Partie position within the Exclusive kitchens after successful completion of the 24-month programme.

Chefs interested in applying must fill out an online application form before competing in a skills test and an assessment day at the Exclusive Chefs’ Academy kitchens, the first of which will be held on 29 May at Lainston House.

Andy Mackenzie, executive chef of the Academy, says the programme is open to chefs from all walks of life.

“What’s important is to find chefs with skill, passion and a determination to succeed and we’ll reward that ambition with a carefully curated mentoring programme and first class career-progression that gives each one the right foundation to carve out a successful, lifelong career in the industry,” he said.

More details about the programme, including application forms, can be found here.

Exclusive Hotels and Venues is a select group of country house hotels and venues in picturesque destinations around the country.

Properties include Pennyhill Park in Surrey, South Lodge in West Sussex, Lainston House in Hampshire, The Manor House in Wiltshire, Royal Berkshire in Berkshire and Fanhams Hall in Hertfordshire.

Exclusive Hotels and Venues operates a select group of country house hotels around the country.


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