THE first group of trainees have started on a unique programme which aims to inspire the next generation of culinary professionals.
The group of seven are part of the West Cork Chef Academy, an exciting new venture hosted by local hotels and the Cork Education & Training Board to address the serious challenges in recruiting staff to the hospitality sector while further promoting West Cork as a food destination.
They are: Anna Siwek, Fernhill House; Jacob Rowden, Fernhill House; Anna Mironova, Celtic Ross Hotel; Joseph Lankester, Waterfront, Baltimore; Richard Vanyai, Eccles Hotel; Joao Narciso, Blue Haven and Jane Duane, Liss Ard Estate.
The trainees had an induction week at Cork College of FET Westside Hospitality Centre on the Model Farm Road in Cork city before getting stuck in at the training kitchens.
They will return to their employers this week and continue to attend training in Westside one day a week for the next six months.
Yeohan Cunningham, who is the culinary instructor on the programme, said: ‘It’s great having worked in
some of the participating hotels myself in the early part of my career to see the new talent coming along and having such high quality mentors in their workplace.’
Programme manager John Byron added: ‘It is great to get this initiative up and running under our Solas skills to advance initiative to help in a small way to introducing new talent into the kitchens of West Cork.
‘We are looking forward to seeing the trainees expands their skills and knowledge of culinary arts over the next six months.
‘With their off-the-job training with us and the world class chef mentors they will have in their workplaces along with the culinary based experiences that are built into the programme they will become the talent of the future in the exciting culinary scene.’