Each of the apprentices worked in one of Brunning & Price’s 59 pubs while completing the year-long course that culminated in a Professional Cookery NVQ.
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There are plans to expand on the pubco’s apprenticeship scheme and the company will look to recruit more students, with plans afoot to add a Level 3 course later this year. A Hospitality NVQ is already being taught in the business, covering best practice front-of-house.
Sam Kenny, who graduated from the cookery apprenticeship at the Red Fox, in Thornton Hough, on The Wirral, this year, said: “It feels great to have completed the course, I’ve learned a lot and it’s been a brilliant grounding.
‘Eventually a head chef’
“I’d love to do my level 3 next as I’m hoping to progress my career. I’m working towards becoming a sous and eventually head chef. In the meantime, it would be great to experience life in some of the other pubs.”
Matthew Bedford, who graduated while working at the Woodbridge Inn, Coalport, Shropshire, said: “I feel very thankful for the opportunity and a lot more confident when I am working in the kitchen now that I'm qualified. It feels good to have something to put on my CV and the experience gained is very valuable.
“I am currently chef de partie. However, I hope to prove myself and potentially become good enough to make senior CDP. Ultimately, I want to become a roving chef within Brunning & Price.
It was a fairly convenient course to take as I was paid more than most apprentices and learnt everything on the job. It was very practical and I didn't have to write long essays, so it suited me perfectly.”
Food Development Awards
To encourage its kitchen teams to be creative, Brunning & Price runs the annual Food Development Awards where every pub nominates a junior chef and front-of-house crew member to work on a new dish that best represents their pub.
There are several rounds of judging before the finalists make it to the ‘Final of Finals’ where the winning dishes are decided by MD Mary Willcock and head of food Mike Carney.
This year, Brunning & Price was a Best Food Offer finalist at the Publican Awards. The pubco gained the judges’ attentions with its approach to fresh cooking across all of its sites.