D&D London has announced it will be permanently rolling out its chef training programme. The news follows the staggering success of D&D’s Summer School in July, which saw learners train and begin careers in the hospitality sector, following a staffing crisis within the industry.
In partnership with Electric Mayonnaise, D&D has been working on a long-term commitment to secure employment for people with little or no previous experience looking to enter kitchens, while giving a much-needed boost to staffing numbers nationwide.
Helping people forge skilled and successful careers in kitchens, the course will train people who are long-term unemployed, alongside charities such as Crisis and Thames Reach.
Kicking off with two courses, designed by D&D London and Electric Mayonnaise and starting this month, the training programme will launch kitchen careers and help nurture participants’existing experience to the next level. Both courses will take place at flagship D&D venue, 100 Wardour Street and will operate on a monthly basis.
Into Hospitality for Kitchens, the 5-day intensive course, will see participants awarded with an Entry 3 Introductory Certificate. Geared towards engaging learners, creating excitement and nurturing aspirations in hospitality, the course will offer a hands-on immersive experience. Modules will include basic cooking, organisational skills and food hygiene with a focus on additional skills such as teamwork, task and time management and effective communication.
The course will culminate in a MasterChef-style cook-off for a table of judges comprising of industry experts and D&D employers, offering learners the opportunity to show off the skills they have mastered during the course and receive feedback from the judges. The final day of the course will see the participants take part in a work experience shift at a chosen D&D restaurant. Successful participants will secure employment in one of D&D’s restaurants.
The second and more advanced option will be the Chef De Partie course, an eight-week deep dive, designed to cover all the basics that an NVQ level 2 in professional cookery would cover. The course is geared towards commis chefs with at least 6 months – 1 years’ professional kitchen experience and will build on their general cooking knowledge and skill. Modules include preparing and cooking fish, meat and poultry, sauces, pastry and food hygiene skills. Learners will be accredited with a Laser Award in ‘Extended certificate in Cookery’.
An impressive 50 participants of D&D’s Summer School have gone on to work in back of house, front of house and bar positions across D&D London businesses.
Feedback from participants has been incredibly positive, with such as learners Chris D. and Tas R. sharing, ‘I genuinely felt an effort had been made to make the week a success, it was easy to be enthusiastic about an employer that invests in its people’ and ‘The engagement of the team in general was impeccable. The inclusivity was also excellent! I’m so thankful for the staff at D&D who have been very welcoming.’