Chefs of the future

Our Head Chef for Education, John cooked up a storm in the kitchen recently with pupils from Newbattle High School in Edinburgh. John joined the pupils as part of Apex Hotels’ pre-apprenticeship programme that aims to unearth talented chefs of the future. As part of the programme, pupils get to work with John to get a flavour of what it’s like to explore cooking as a career and create a range of tasty dishes that would impress even Mary Berry herself. Most recently, the second and third year pupils tackled Paris-Brest, an intricate dessert made of choux pastry and praline flavoured cream. Sounds delicious, right?

© Sandy Young Photography 

John has been travelling to schools across Edinburgh and the Lothians for the last year and a half to highlight the benefits and possibilities there are for pupils looking to embark on a career in hospitality. John, who has been a head chef for 25 years, is passionate about his work.

“Apex Hotels is keen to focus its efforts on changing perceptions of hospitality and chefing amongst young people, and to encourage young learners who haven’t thought about getting into the industry before a chance to have a go at cooking. We are keen to not only find new chefs at a grassroots level and promote chefing as a full-time career, but to also teach skills that have been disappearing from the chef industry – including fishmongery, butchery and knife skills – to high school students.”

John Newton, Head Chef for Education

© Sandy Young Photography 

“As a company we are passionate about growing our own talent and not only in investing in our own people, but focusing on overcoming the current skills shortage that the hotel and hospitality industry is facing. Through John’s stewardship and the work of the team here at Apex, strong links have been forged with educational institutions, including Newbattle High School, to promote hospitality as a career of choice. Collaborating with high schools, colleges and universities is an integral part of Apex’s HR strategy. We hope that our pre-apprenticeship programme will go some way in alleviating the current skills gap.”

Angela Vickers, Apex Hotels CEO

© Sandy Young Photography

The benefits of programme’s like John’s are supported and recognised by Newbattle High School.

“Partnerships with employers like Apex Hotels are integral to our curriculum and helping our young people develop new skills whilst giving them an insight on what they may choose to do when they leave school. Having John come into the classroom and provide a work based educational class on chef skills, which the students really benefit from, is a great way to give young people a practical introduction to a career they may not have considered before.”

Gib McMillan, Head Teacher, Newbattle High School

We’re extremely proud of John and the work he’s doing with these pupils. We just wish we got to taste their desserts!

For information on apprenticeships at Apex Hotels, visit our website here.