Inn Collection launches Chef Academy to help tackle sector crisis

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Training programme: head of food Tom Adlam and Matthew Benson-Smith cooking at the Northallerton Inn
Training programme: head of food Tom Adlam and Matthew Benson-Smith cooking at the Northallerton Inn

Related tags Training Pubco + head office Multi-site pub operators Food

The Inn Collection Group is targeting the back-of-house staffing crisis by launching its Chef Academy that is open for applications now.

Working with Michelin-trained chef Matthew Benson-Smith and his Benson-Smith Training Academy, the Newcastle-based business, which was recently recognised as one of The Sunday Times’ Best Places To Work​ 2023, is offering a total of 10 places for its first intake and is open to anyone who sees their future as the next big culinary star.

No prior chef experience is required, with the successful candidates being drawn from those that display the raw ingredients of enthusiasm, passion and creativity and a willingness to learn.

The fully funded opportunities will be hosted at six of The Inn Collection Group’s properties in the north-east and north-west, with sites in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, North Yorkshire, Cumbria and Lancashire currently earmarked to provide the kitchens where academy members will complete a Level 2 commis chef apprenticeship over 12 months.

Watchful eye

Inductees will learn everything from creating stocks & sauces and knife skills to preparation of meat, game and vegetables under the watchful eye of the former chef to the UK Prime Minister.

The Inn Collection Group learning and development manager Ashleigh Fenwick said: “The Chef Academy will be market-leading in its approach to training and developing the next generation of chefs.

“An apprenticeship is a fantastic way to learn skills while you earn and while you are in the workplace and to gain industry experience.

“We’re looking for really passionate people who have the desire to learn new skills and come and work for an exciting growing business.

“We are incredibly proud to be partnering with Benson-Smith Academy and can’t wait to meet our first cohort of budding chefs.”

Really passionate

Benson-Smith added: “I started at the Black Swan in Helmsley, which is now one of The Inn Collection Group’s properties.

“We like to work with businesses that are really passionate about training young people and forming their skills for the future and The Inn Collection Group has a real focus for that.”

Tom Adlam, head of food at The Inn Collection Group said: “What we are really keen to do is to bring that next wave of people into our business and inspire them within the business and the industry.

“It is well documented that hospitality is having a difficult moment in its history in attracting people to the industry and our Chef Academy will help us to attract brand new talent to our company.”

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