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Chefs' School enjoys double celebration

It has been a successful week with a group of our young chefs celebrating the completion of their apprenticeships and the news that we won the Corporate Responsibility award at the Springboard Awards For Excellence.


It was a full house for the graduation with proud family and friends joining to show their support for the students. The ceremony was held at River Cottage HQ, with speeches given by Lead Chef Tutor Gary Richmond and Hugh who both commended the students on their hard work and excellent achievements. 


Gary Richmond, Lead Chef Tutor at River Cottage Chef School, said; “Apprenticeships are very close to my heart, given I was in the same shoes as our learners many years ago. It’s fantastic that we are able to support those starting out in the industry through our apprenticeship scheme and be able to offer them the skills and experience they need to excel. I am very proud of each and every one of our graduates with how they have progressed over the past 12 months and I wish them all the very best with their future careers.”

This year, the Chefs’ School saw 40 apprentices gain professional cookery qualifications. A further five students were awarded a Level 2 qualification in Food and Beverage Service making them the first apprentices to achieve this award since River Cottage introduced the course in September 2014.

Graduates achieve a City & Guilds qualification after a year of hands-on experience studying in River Cottage’s state of the art Chefs’ School as well as working a minimum of 30 hours a week in some of the best restaurants, pubs and hotels across the South West. Both schemes offer the apprentices a professional and personal journey which aims to equip them with the skills they need to enter the hospitality industry.

As a testament to the quality of the programme, the Chefs’ school has this week added to their extensive list of awards by winning the Corporate Responsibility award at the Springboard 2015 Awards For Excellence, held at the Novotel London West on Monday 2 November. The Springboard Awards For Excellence, now in their thirteenth year, reward and recognise excellence in promoting careers, attracting talent, and best employment practice across hospitality, leisure and tourism. 

Terri Tipping, Education Manager at River Cottage, said; “It is a real honour to have been awarded the Springboard Corporate Responsibility award. This is the second year in a row that we have been chosen as the winner and that is something that we are truly proud of. Corporate Social Responsibility is something that we are very passionate about and we are absolutely delighted that our contribution has been recognised with such a prestigious award."