Aspiring Kerry chefs to get a start

Commis chef apprentice, chef Terry McCoy, commis chef apprentice, Agnieszka Niedzielak, Christchurch and chef Darina Brennan, at the launch of the programme.
Picture: Naoise Culhane

A NEW commis chef apprenticeship programme to provide aspiring chefs in Kerry with a two–year formal education and training opportunity to begin their careers as professional chefs has been launched.

The scheme, part of a nationwide initiative backed by Education and Skills Minister, Richard Bruton, is supported by several bodies including the Irish Hotels’ Federation, the Restaurants’ Association of Ireland and the Irish Hospitality Institute.

It is also backed by Euro-toques Ireland, the Catering Management Association of Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, SOLAS, Institutes of Technology and Education and Training Boards.

Over 110 places are available nationally and those who have a keen interest in and a creative flair for cooking are encouraged to apply. The scheme is available to young people aged over 16 years, existing kitchen staff and anyone else who wishes to gain an internationally recognised qualification.

The Irish Hotels’ Federation said professionally trained chefs with a passion for their work are incredibly important to the success of the tourism and hospitality industry which relies heavily on the consistent delivery of a quality product.

“This programme will help add to the existing pool of culinary talent in Ireland’s hospitality industry, while also nurturing the budding chefs of the future,” the IHF statement said,

The structured two-year education and training programme will incorporate periods of off-the-job knowledge and skills development in a college or centre with work-based knowledge and skills development in an approved hotel or restaurant kitchen.

Apprentices will develop the theory, science and culinary skills in a college or education and training centre and put these skills into practice under the mentorship of qualified and experienced chefs in the kitchens of SOLAS approved hotels and restaurants.

The Kerry programme will be delivered in the Kerry College of Further Education, Tralee with up to 16 places available.

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