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Winning Chefs awarded coveted place in the Exclusive Chefs’ Academy

Aspiring junior chefs
Aspiring junior chefs from across the country have been awarded their place in the Exclusive Chefs’ Academy, a two-year life-changing training programme from Exclusive Hotels and Venues which launched yesterday after a three month search and selection process.

Following a huge amount of interest from talented chefs attracted to the programme, thirteen chefs have been awarded a place on the programme instead of an original commitment of just nine.  Seven candidates have been recruited from chef and catering colleges and universities including Brighton and Hove College, Southampton City College, Bath College, Southdowns Cottage and City College Brighton, with the remaining six places won from kitchens within the Exclusive Hotels and Venues portfolio.  

The successful candidates – including six ladies and seven gentlemen - undertook a series of processes to secure their place, including completing a rigorous online application form, two skills tests and an onsite assessment day before Exclusive Hotels and Venues’ Executive Chef Andy Mackenzie and his panel of judges reached their decision.  

Each of the thirteen chefs will have the opportunity to learn from Exclusive’s award-winning Chefs including    two Michelin-star Head Chef Michael Wignall at The Latymer at Pennyhill Park in Surrey, one Michelin-star Executive Chef Richard Davies at The Bybrook at The Manor House, Castle Combe, and current MasterChef The Professionals winner, Steven Edwards, who is Head Chef at The Camellia in South Lodge near Horsham.  

The Chefs’ Academy is the brainchild of Mackenzie who, together with Exclusive’s group of award winning restaurant chefs, has carefully designed an intensive programme to both attract and nurture aspiring talent to the industry. Over the course of the two years each chef will experience on-the-job training, off-site supplier visits, supervisory skills workshops, team challenges and master-classes designed to fast track their career to Chef De Partie level in what would typically take five years to achieve.  

Andy comments “I have been overwhelmed with the quality of candidates applying to the Academy and their individual determination to secure their place. It’s going to be an exciting and challenging two years ahead for the chefs on the programme and for our own chefs who are ready to inspire and develop what we believe to be the UK’s freshest new talent.”  

The Exclusive Chefs’ Academy kicked off yesterday, 16th July, across the Exclusive Hotels and Venues group of country house properties in the South East.

Pictured: The Winning Chefs outside Lainston House, an Exclusive Hotel near Winchester, yesterday.

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