For the first time the graduates - who come on day release from other parts of the business such as the Front of House General Assistants team and kitchen porters - also had the opportunity to complete an apprenticeship as part of the programme.
The chefs have spent the last year getting to grips with the basics of the kitchen in monthly sessions that included time perfecting sauces, starters, mains and desserts, as well as study trips to Brixham Fish Market and a micro herb garden.
Matt Jennings, learning and development business partner, Elior UK, says: “It’s been a really comprehensive learning experience for these future chefs. While food plays a central role in Chef School, we also train them on service and the business basics needed in the kitchen. It doesn’t end today at graduation – there’s a comprehensive development programme and we’re committed to helping the graduates meet their career aspirations.
“Over the last five years, we’ve put around 77 colleagues through the Chef School programme and it’s a pleasure to say that around two-thirds of those have now taken up full time chef positions.”
To celebrate their graduation, the chefs showed off their skills and cooked up a feast for Elior clients and guests.
The lunch menu included: crab tortellini with seafood bisque and micro garlic chive; brined roasted on the crown chicken breast and stuffed leg on wilted kale with cocotte potato, butternut squash and heritage carrots finished with chicken jus; and a full table of desserts.