Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage on the hunt for young chefs (From Bridport and Lyme Regis News)
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Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage on the hunt for young chefs
HUGH Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage empire is looking for 40 youngsters who want to be chefs.
River Cottage’s new professional cookery school is taking part in its first government funded scheme to find young chef apprentices.
The aim is to select 16 to 19 year olds and place them in a local businesses where they can earn and learn as well as get fully trained and qualified by the River Cottage team.
They will train at River Cottage for 24 days of the 12 month apprenticeship and although they’ll be employed by the venues the River Cottage team will be responsible for their education, assessment and finally, awarding them with their Diploma in Professional Cookery.
River Cottage will also provide support, by visiting and assessing them in their place of work.
The premise is the scheme will be beneficial to the local businesses who will save on recruitment and training costs, and have a chef who understands the ethos of River Cottage - sustainability, seasonality and ethical food procurement.
Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall said: “There has been a renaissance in British restaurant cookery in recent years, not just in terms of the style of cooking and techniques now being employed, but also, more crucially in my view, in the approach of chefs to sourcing their food, embracing good provenance, and choosing their recipe.
“With the River Cottage Young Chef Apprenticeship scheme, we aim to strike while the iron is hot, helping to bring even more change and innovation in this area.
“We’ll be guiding our trainees in all the issues at which River Cottage excels - seasonality, ethical and local sourcing, regional ingredients and traditional, hands-on techniques.
“It’s a new step for us that I’m very excited about. After all, if we can inspire and inform the up-and-coming chefs of the UK, and beyond, they in turn can delight thousands, maybe even millions, of diners, all over the world.”
Chris Griffin, head of education added “This scheme is important for a number of reasons. We are providing employment for those that may have struggled to find similar opportunities in the South West. We are able to support our local restaurants and hotels by training young people that, in the future, will become the backbone of their culinary brigades.
“Finally, we can help to build on the great food culture in the south west, ensuring there are the craft skills locally to continue, and hopefully grow the reputation of uncompromising food quality.”
Applicants can register their interest on rivercottage.net/apply by April 8.
All applicants have the opportunity to enter a competition to win the chance to work for a year at Park Farm and become the face of the 2013/14 River Cottage Young Chefs Apprenticeship Scheme.
When their apprenticeship is complete they will battle it out at a cook-off with the chefs at River Cottage. To find out about the competition visit rivercottage.net/win.