Hospitality and Professional Cookery

Our programmes are co-designed in partnership with the world-renowned, Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal and his team at The Fat Duck Group.

What sets our catering programmes apart from the rest is the emphasis we place on the fundamentals of understanding ingredients and exploring their tastes, flavours and fusions.

Heston Blumenthal has identified two critical attributes for working in this industry: Restless Perfectionism and Creative Curiosity. To find out more about how these attributes can benefit you and how we develop them, visit our website and search for ‘culinary arts’. Inspired by these critical attributes, you will be provided with a rich variety of learning experiences, including practical exploration, food science experiments, work and industry experience, and employer led projects.

We have fully operational training restaurants on campus where you will experience working in a live environment serving paying customers. We are also undertaking a multimillion pound re-development of our training kitchens, which will be complete in 2021.

This is a three-year pathway that starts with teaching you the fundamentals of professional cookery right through to advanced techniques practiced in modern restaurants. For entry to Level 1, you will need four GCSEs at grade 4 or above. If you do not have the requisite GCSEs, or if you have barriers to learning, you will be required to attend an interview with our culinary arts team to assess your suitability for the course.
For entry to Level 2, you will need to have completed the first year of the Culinary Arts pathway. If you have been in the industry for one year or more, or have a relevant professional qualification, it may be possible to start on Year 2 (Level 2) of the course.
For entry to Level 3, you will need to have completed the second year of the Culinary Arts pathway.

Across the hospitality and catering industry in the UK there are 3.18 million jobs, with the highest growth forecasts over the next five years including cooks, chefs, and restaurant managers.

You could progress from this pathway to becoming, among other things, a chef de partie, sous chef or head chef, who creates menus for a restaurant, cafeteria or catering establishment, managing the kitchen, monitoring costs and training staff. You can also progress onto roles outside the kitchen, becoming a restaurant manager, for example, running a restaurant, including hiring staff, scheduling rotas, managing bookings and monitoring budgets.

To be successful in this industry, you’ll need to be committed, resilient, understand that you won’t be working a traditional ‘nine to five’ role and have customer service at the core of everything you do.

Industry partnerships

Orin, Professional Culinary Arts Level 3 The course is hands-on, which I like as I work well with that style of learning. The teachers are all amazing and are really supportive and encouraging. I’ve gained so much confidence being at college and would recommend this course to anyone.
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