The programme was launched at the Suffolk Food Hall in Wherstead, near Ipswich where the trainee chefs will undertake a series of monthly masterclasses provided by hospitality experts HIT Training. It will form part of HIT’s award-winning and market-leading Chef Academy.
Monthly masterclasses will cover nose to tail butchery, shellfish, bread and dough, vegetables and protein, game and offal and bakery and patisserie.
All the sessions have been scheduled to work with the seasons with food safety, and health and safety practices embedded into the programme.
Entering the programme at a range of all levels, the nine chefs were welcomed by the group’s CEO, David Scott and Training and Development Manager, Sophie Jeffrey, who spoke about the importance the company places on investing in its Folk and the programme playing a big part in this.
Chefs were then introduced to the HIT team including the Chef Academy’s lead trainer, Steve Wiltshire, who will run the off-site masterclasses. Steve has 30 years’ experience as a chef within three rosette and Michelin star hotels and restaurants, and a further five years in the training industry, teaching budding chefs everything he knows.
Also key to the chefs’ progress within the programme is Training and Development Chef for The Hotel Folk, and their mentor within the company, Andrew Clements. Andrew will be the chefs’ main point of liaison throughout the programme and comes with a plethora of experience in the kitchen having begun his career as one of the original apprentices at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant and featured on TV’s Jamie’s Kitchen. Since then he has worked in several prestigious hotels and restaurants with famous names including Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, John Torode in London, Yotam Ottonlenghi, Marriot Hotels in Kensington and the Ritz Carlton Hotels in Barcelona.
Chefs will also take part in masterclasses alongside some of The Hotel Folk’s Head Chefs and visit local suppliers to increase their producer knowledge, the first of which will be with award-winning, third generation, family-run business, Pinney’s of Orford.
On this momentous day for the group, Sophie Jeffrey, Training and Development Manager at The Hotel Folk said:
“We are delighted to have launched the Chef Development Programme for The Hotel Folk group. This has been a fundamental stage in the progress of our training offering at The Hotel Folk and I am so proud to see it come to fruition.
“We focussed on offering the programme to Folk already within our kitchens to really emphasise that we want to develop those already within the group and show them one of the paths that they can take to build a career with the company.
“I am thrilled that we have had so many decide to step forward for our first cohort and I look forward to seeing our trainees go from strength to strength, with the support of HIT Training, as well as The Hotel Folk’s Training and Development Chef, Andrew and Head Chefs within the group.”
Andrew Clements, Training and Development Chef for The Hotel Folk, said:
“This is a big step for the group, as we introduce a new way of training and investing in our kitchens and developing the chefs that have put themselves forward and want to progress their career with The Hotel Folk.
“This programme is especially important for me as I started my career as an apprentice, and being a mentor for these nine chefs makes it feel like I have come full circle from the mentee to the mentor. I hope that my experiences of working my way up within the industry means that I am in a fantastic position to support and help these chefs to develop their career.”
Steve Wiltshire, Chef Academy Lead Trainer for HIT Training, said:
“It gives me great pleasure to deliver our Chef Academy masterclass sessions to the group of talented and passionate chefs in this cohort. I look forward to seeing these chefs develop and enhance their skills and knowledge throughout their apprenticeship journey. The future is very bright for the culinary team with The Hotel Folk.”
For further information about career opportunities with The Hotel Folk visit www.thehotelfolk.co.uk.
The nine chefs taking part include:
Ryan Irvine – Demi Chef De Partie, Thorpeness Golf Club and Hotel
George Hayden – Chef De Partie, The Swan at Lavenham Hotel and Spa
Tom Swarman – Chef De Partie, The Crown and Castle in Orford
Tom Vickers – Demi Chef De Partie, The Crown and Castle in Orford
Tommy Smith – Kitchen Porter, The White Lion Hotel, Aldeburgh
Matt Flint – Junior Sous Chef, The Crown at Woodbridge
James Boggis – Junior Sous Chef, The Brudenell Hotel, Aldeburgh
Edward Bayley – Chef De Partie, The Brudenell Hotel, Aldeburgh
Jack Key – Chef De Partie, The Crown at Woodbridge
Image shows: Left to right:
Front row: Sophie Jeffrey, Training and Development Manager, The Hotel Folk; Andrew Clements, Training and Development Chef, The Hotel Folk and Ryan Irvine, Demi Chef De Partie, Thorpeness Golf Club and Hotel.
Back row: George Hayden, Chef De Partie, The Swan at Lavenham Hotel and Spa; Tom Swarman; Chef De Partie, The Crown and Castle in Orford; Tom Vickers, Demi Chef De Partie, The Crown and Castle in Orford; Tommy Smith, Kitchen Porter, The White Lion Hotel, Aldeburgh; Matt Flint, Junior Sous Chef, The Crown at Woodbridge; James Boggis, Junior Sous Chef, The Brudenell Hotel, Aldeburgh; Edward Bayley, Chef De Partie, The Brudenell Hotel, Aldeburgh; Jack Key, Chef De Partie, The Crown at Woodbridge and Steve Wiltshire, Chef Academy Lead Trainer, HIT Training.
Photo credit: Matt Finch, The Hotel Folk