Inspiring next generation of chefs

Published: 11th May 2022

Published by City College Southampton

Students recently completing our Young Chefs’ Academy were praised for their new skills by employers from the hospitality sector who generously support the Academy which sets out to discover and inspire our chefs of the future. 

Our six week after-school course is for students in years 10 and 11 and is designed to give young people with an interest in joining this vital industry their first taste of working in a professional kitchen.

Simon Hart, City College hospitality course leader, said: "This year JS Fish, Essential Cuisine, New Place Hotel, Skal International Southampton, Careys Manor and Montagu Arms Hotel heavily subsidised the cost which meant we could offer the course out to a wider range of students across Southampton.

"It’s a great course and, working together with our local businesses, truly informs the students about the breadth of career opportunities open to them. The hospitality industry keeps growing and helping to develop skills and passion in others to join it is very rewarding."

One of the sponsors, Patina Farnham, Vice President of Skal International Southampton said: "We’re all keen to support this exemplary initiative which can only help to address our current shortage of chefs. It’s so important we look for ways to inspire young people to love cooking and to develop a passion to join us in our amazingly rewarding career."

To celebrate their newly learnt skills the trainee chefs prepared a formal, two-course dinner in our on-site Aspire Restaurant for the course sponsors and guests.  The menu included slow roasted pork belly with pork croquette, fondant potato, parsnip crisps, mixed greens and thyme jus, followed by a raspberry cheesecake, served with chocolate ice-cream, toile biscuit, raspberries and mint.

The young trainee chefs course worked in our state-of-the-art training kitchens and learnt about food and knife safety, breads and doughs, fresh pasta making, preparation of poultry and desserts in addition to safely and confidently working together as a team.

Megan, 16, from Oasis Academy Sholing, said: "This has been my first experience of cooking in a professional kitchen and now I have the confidence to cook more at home. I aspire to be a chef and am looking forward to joining City College in September to learn the skills and qualifications to achieve that dream."

Claudia, 15, from The Hamble School, is also planning to study hospitality at City College. She added: "I’ve enjoyed making meals from scratch and have developed a real passion for cooking."