School of Food, a Kilkenny-based community-led food initiative has announced 16 spaces on a new professional culinary course that will combine work-based learning with college attendance.
The announcement follows recent figures from the Restaurant Association of Ireland indicating that 5,000 new chefs are needed each year until 2020. The RAI recommended the establishment of 10 new chef training centres.
School of Food, which is based in Thomastown, will be one of just five chef training colleges in Ireland. The new programme has received funding from Fáilte Ireland and Leader.
The training format will be a mix of work-based learning and three days a week at college. The School of Food is now looking for people interested in gaining professional cookery qualifications to take part in the 34-week certificate course. Participants who successfully complete the programme achieve a QQI Level 5 Major Award.
Commencing Monday 5 October, the programme will be open to all school leavers and culinary staff wishing to upskill.
Details of this new Professional Cookery Programme are available here.
“The School of Food is itself a unique concept in that it serves the community of Kilkenny and the south east as a hub for food education,” said Mags Morrissey, coordinator with the School of Food. “We have some of the best tutors available and state of the art facilities making this an exciting project. This course is our first to launch and it will serve as a pipeline for hotel and restaurant kitchens dedicated to food excellence.”
“Given the chef shortage there is huge potential for jobs in professional cookery and the School of Food professional cookery programme will give students an excellent introduction to culinary education with on the job training,” said Adrian Cummins, Restaurant Association of Ireland.
“Visitors to Ireland regard a great food experience as one of the key drivers of satisfaction when they are here so it is important that we get it right John Mulcahy, head of hospitality with Fáilte Ireland. “A great food experience needs expert handling of local food in a hospitable setting, both of which provide an unforgettable holiday memory to share with friends and family. Well trained chefs at all levels are crucial if we are to achieve this, which is why Fáilte Ireland is collaborating with the School of Food on this professional cookery programme.”
Opened in January 2015, the School of Food is a custom developed food education and incubation centre aiming to attract professional and amateur cookery students.
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