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Star Pubs & Bars launches free cookery school courses

Star Pubs and Bars is launching a series of free chef training courses at regional cookery schools around the country to help licensees with kitchen staff recruitment and retention.

The series of practical one-day courses is aimed at staff in pubs with a strong food offer who may not have been to catering college but want to expand their knowledge and learn cooking skills to progress in their careers.

Course attendees learn to make bread and to create on-trend vegan and gluten-free dishes. They also gain insight into how utilising under-used cuts of meat, low calorie dishes and desserts can increase customer spend. The teachings are designed to help attendees feel “empowered” in their role in a commercial kitchen.

The first course took place at Hugh Fernley Whittingstall’s The River Cottage in Devon with further courses lined up around the UK.

Mark Teed head of food at Star Pubs and Bars said: “Training and staff retention was highlighted as the biggest issue for licensees at our 2018 forums. The kitchen crisis is already critical and likely to get worse, so developing and looking after chefs is essential and we’re committed to supporting licensees in this area.

“As well as cookery school training, we’re sponsoring 100 apprentices this year to help licensees attract and retain the best talent in the kitchen.”

Ed O’Neill, licensee at The Crown Inn, Farnham Royal, added: “Having worked as a chef in everything from Michelin kitchens and fine-dining through to casual dining, I believe recruiting and retaining chefs is a massive industry problem.

“It’s nigh on impossible to find fully trained chefs who want a career. That is why the training at the Riverside Cottage that Star arranged was so great. I would have bitten your hand off if I’d been offered a course like this when I was younger.”

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