Launch of Chef's Academy in Hampshire

Launch of Chef's Academy in Hampshire

Exclusive Hotels and Venues are delighted to announce the launch of the Chef's Academy, a career development programme created to increase opportunities for chefs within the hotel and venues group.

Headed up by former executive chef of Lainston House Hotel, Andy Mackenzie, the programme will commence in July 2014 and run for two years. Offering a wide range of opportunities in the six restaurants and extensive conference and banqueting facilities and drawing on the vast experience of three Michelin starred Chefs; Michael Wignall, Matt Gillan and Richard Davies, as well as Denis Drame, the recent recipient of the Master of Culinary Arts in Pastry; Exclusive Hotels and Venues are proud to uphold a reputation for providing excellent training and career opportunities for their staff.

The Academy will be aimed at commis chefs who have at least one year of experience. The Academy has been designed to equip the chefs with the skills and experience needed to take them from commis to chef de partie level on an intensive two year programme.

Based at properties across the business the chefs will be exposed to the different cooking styles of the award-winning chefs, extensive off-job training involving masterclasses, visits to the producers of the quality ingredients used in the business, and attending workshops led by experts in their field. This will be followed by having the opportunity to work directly with the great quality ingredients, many of which are locally sourced as well as those from the hotels' own kitchen gardens.

Exclusive Hotels and Venues' commitment to development will ensure that the focus is balanced between the needs of the individuals and the business and will cover team challenges and competitions involving rigorous assessment.

Andy MacKenzie comments: 'Having been a chef with Exclusive Hotels and Venues for over 27 years, I am really excited and very proud to be heading up the Exclusive Chef's Academy. During my time with Exclusive I have performed hundreds of cooking demonstrations at schools, colleges, food festivals and even radio stations and was also instrumental in launching 'Create & Cook', a cookery competition aimed at showcasing the culinary skills of young people across Hampshire, Sussex and the Isle of Wight. I am now looking forward to transferring those skills to these talented chefs, supported by the executive chefs across the group.'

Image: Course leader and former executive chef of Lainston House Hotel, Andy Mackenzie