Decline in Chinese chefs sees UK’s first Chinese food diploma launched

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Fears of a demise of the Chinese restaurant industry due to a lack of chefs has led to the launch of the first fully regulated Chinese-specific catering course in the UK.

Backed by the Chinese Cuisine Association and Tianjin Food Group, the new Chinese Culinary Arts course, which starts next month, will look to secure the industry’s future by producing ‘home grown’ Chinese chefs in the UK.

The course – a mix of online learning and practical assessments – is aimed at current and aspiring chefs in the catering industry that want to enhance their skills and forge a successful career path in this sector.

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It is also aimed at saving restaurant and hotel owners upwards of £15k to recruit a Chinese chef from the Far East, while also offering them an opportunity to increase their existing dining options.

At present, most Chinese chefs for the UK’s 2,700 Chinese restaurants are recruited from overseas with owners using recruitment agents to find chefs willing to relocate to the UK.

The course – which will follow Lu Ban workshop principles – has received significant inward investment from China to ensure that it will produce chefs of the future.

It is a level three qualification managed by Coventry-based PAM Education and run in conjunction with Chichester College Group and Tianjin Second School of Cuisine Food Group.

Russell Grocott, PAM Education founder and director, said: “Our work has escalated from what started as the design of an education programme into a mission to reintroduce authentic Chinese Culinary Arts across the UK.

“Our programme provides budding Chinese chefs and restaurant owners with the opportunity to learn skills and gain a regulated qualification recognised world-wide supported by the finest Master Chefs based in China.

“We have fantastic support from the National Cuisine Associations of Tianjin and China and we are thrilled to introduce this unique opportunity into the UK.”

Successful completion of the course will secure a Diploma in Chinese Culinary Arts.

Course content is delivered primarily online, including weekly webinars, with practical assessments at Crawley College, part of the Chichester College Group, at the end of each term.

For more information see the course website or

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Zoe Monk

The author Zoe Monk

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