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There’s a lot of talk about how the industry and academia need to work together better to produce the skilled chefs we need to drive the UK hospitality industry forward. In the past year, high profile industry figures of the likes of Marco Pierre White and Oliver Peyt on have grumbled about how colleges are failing to produce chefs with the requisite skills. Having just got home from the Dorchester Hotel where I attended this evening’s graduation ceremony for the 16 chefs of Bournemouth and Poole College’s Specialised Chefs’ course, 2008, I can testify to the fact that operators and educators are quite able to work in harmony to train up outstanding chefs.

The course began in 1989 as a partnership between the college and the Academy of Culinary Arts, whose members sponsor students and offer them prolonged placements at their restaurants and hotels. The stated aim of the course is to “inspire the rising generation to train with the elite of their chosen profession”.

So, well done to this year’s graduates and their sponsors:

  • Adam Blanchard (Claridge’s)
  • Adam Bowden (The Ritz)
  • Christopher Castle (Royal Automobile Club)
  • Peter Dickinson (Restaurant Associates)
  • Jake Finn (The Ritz)
  • David Gillott (1 Lombard and the Sloane Club)
  • Matthew Hiscoe (Wilton’s)
  • Daniel Jeffries (Claridge’s)
  • Francesca Kay (Royal Automobile Club)
  • David Leggett (Boodle’s)
  • Lewis Linley (Restaurant Associates)
  • Emma Mann (Grand Hotel, Eastbourne)
  • Paul Matthews (Roux Fine Dining)
  • Nicolo Rasile (The Wolseley and St Alban)
  • Richard Spence (Tylney Hall Hotel)
  • Sheree Stafford (Lucknam Park and Directors Table BAT).

By chance, I was turning through a book called Letters to a Young Chef by Daniel Boulud on the train up to London to attend the event. I’ve not finished it yet, but already it looks a real winner, packed with advice for young chefs looking to forge a career in the kitchen. Here are Boulud’s ten commandments of a chef:

  1. Keep your knives sharp
  2. Work with the best people
  3. Keep your station orderly
  4. Purchase wisely
  5. Season with precision
  6. Master the heat
  7. Learn the world of food
  8. Know the classics
  9. Accept criticism
  10. Keep a journal of your recipes.

All good advice to last night’s graduates. Are there any other pearls of wisdom you think are missing from Daniel’s list?