The chefs from across the UK, were joined by over 200 people at the ceremony, including guest speaker Josh Eggleton, Michelin Star chef at The Pony and Trap.
Chef Academy graduate and winner of the Spirit of the Academy Award, Francesco La Luna said: “The Chef Academy has accelerated my career as a chef, by developing my confidence in the kitchen and culinary knowledge. I joined BaxterStorey as a kitchen porter in 2015 and have worked my way up the ranks to Sous Chef. I have been fortunate enough to complete both Level 2 and 3 of the Academy; I love how varied the programme is.
“My favourite trip was to Brixham fish market. Being Italian, it allowed me to discover a bit more of England and the food supply here. My confidence in the kitchen has grown so much since joining the Academy – I’ve gone from being a chef to leading my team in the kitchen”.
Open to all chefs within our business, the four-tiered programme develops their leadership techniques, finance skills, culinary talent, creative thinking, communication skills and nutrition. The chefs also experience butchery masterclasses, bread-making workshops and visit food markets and fisheries, following farm to fork processes.
Chairman Alastair Storey commented: “Our business is founded on a commitment to training and development. The Chef Academy is testament to this, with 450 chefs graduating over 16 years. The energy and excitement amongst the graduates this evening represents the spirit of BaxterStorey, and the pride we have in delivering service excellence to all our clients, customers, suppliers and colleagues.
We are lucky to be part of a thriving hospitality industry – one which the UK economy relies on. Nurturing talent and celebrating successes, is how we will continue to grow both the business and the industry. Our graduate chefs are ambassadors to our business, and I am proud to celebrate such a motivated and talented group of people”.
Alongside a champagne reception and certificate presentations, special awards were given to individual chefs praised for their outstanding achievements:
Best in class trainee
Level 2 – Andre Gheorghe
Level 3 –Francesco La Luna
Level 4 – Jason Pullen
Best in class trainer
Level 2 – Peter Fairclough
Level 3 – David Burgum
Level 2 – Marco Portale
Level 3 – Dan Croshaw
Level 4 – Peter Stonard
Spirit of the academy
Francesco La Luna
Congratulations to all our talented chefs!