Yummy Pub Co launches Chef Academy

By James Evison

- Last updated on GMT

Yummy's Anthony Pender: 'It's about creating opportunity'
Yummy's Anthony Pender: 'It's about creating opportunity'

Related tags Culinary art Chef Cook

Multiple operator Yummy Pub Co has launched a mentoring scheme for seven chefs.

Dubbed the 'Chef Academy', selection to the scheme will be based on a passion for cooking rather than a CV.

The seven selected chefs will be from various backgrounds with mixed levels of kitchen experience, and will work in kitchens across the company’s four London pubs – with new accommodation included.

Each chef will be provided with a mentor and trained within the in-house 'Yummy Academy' – a company-wide training scheme mapped against the apprentice framework, and accredited by the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII). 

Project ethos

The first chef on the scheme is 25-year-old Josh Astarita, who was without a home or a job when applying, but is now on his way to becoming a fully trained chef for the pubco, as well as living above Somers Town Coffee House.

The ethos behind the project was developed by the owners of the pubco, current BII chair Anthony Pender, executive chef Jason Rowlands and 'Head of Being Awesome' Tim Foster. 

Pender said: "It’s about creating opportunity and nurturing talent. It’s already working. Within less than 24 hours of launching the academy, we’ve been inundated with messages from aspiring chefs. The best part about it is that we genuinely don’t care about their level of experience, it’s about their passion, not their past.”

Rowlands said: "Let me make this clear – this is NOT just another job ad," said Rowlands. “Our Chef Academy trainees will all live together above Somers Town Coffee House with the purpose of sharing their talent and immersing themselves in all things food, I like to think of it as the Yummy food hub!" 

Hands-on skills

He continued: "The aim is to take newbie chefs and give them an all-around, hands-on skill set. This will allow them to be able to run their own kitchens within 18 months and eventually, we’d like to see them start their own business, if that’s their goal.

"We’ll take them on trips out to our country pubs, let them play around with ingredients, go on foraging adventures in the wild and they’ll get the chance to work with some top UK pub chef talent.”

The candidates will be announced in the next few weeks.

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