School of Food apprenticeship initiative launches for students

Paul Mingo-West, Adrian Kirikmaa, Josh Eggleton and Brian Howe at the School of Food launch event.

Paul Mingo-West, Adrian Kirikmaa, Josh Eggleton and Brian Howe at the School of Food launch event. - Credit: Archant

A brand new apprenticeship scheme for South West students launched on Monday.

The School of Food is a training programme for those looking to enter the hospitality industry.

It is the brainchild of two renowned South West chefs – Josh Eggleton, owner of the Pony and Trap gastropub, in Chew Magna, and Adrian Kirikmaa, food development manager at St Monica Trust, in Bristol.

Classes will be based at Ashton Gate Stadium, Weston College and Pill’s St Katherine’s School, in Ham Green.

Speaking at the launch event at Ashton Gate, Adrian Kirikmaa said: “We want chefs across Bristol to teach, train and inspire people to cook, and for aspiring chefs to learn where food comes from.

“We are trying to get young people to come into our trade because there’s a lack of apprenticeships and a growing food industry in the south west.

“Young people need to enter the trade – anyone can come to School of Food and find a job within the local area, not just students.”

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The programme will promote local food, and modules will teach the importance of nutrition, food sourcing, menu design and the technical skills required to work in the catering industry, including hospitality management.

Josh Eggleton said: “We want to be inclusive, channel food community programmes and try to encourage restaurateurs and other people within the industry to help with the delivery of our project.

Our aim is to take chefs into schools to deliver master classes, and apprentices will go into restaurants and learn hands-on. 9

0 per cent of learning will be done in the kitchen, because we believe that the best way to learn about different food cultures and different methods of cooking is to be practical with it.”

St Katherine’s School has already begun enrolling apprentices onto the scheme, and its hospitality and catering leader, Paul Migno-West, said: “We teach hospitality to year 10 students, but have found a drop-off in the number of pupils who go on to choose the subject in sixth form.

“Getting people within the industry involved is the only way to get the next generation of chefs coming through in our region.”

If you’re interested in becoming an apprentice, or an employer wanting to get involved with the scheme, visit the School of Food website for more information.