Solina trains ‘chefs of the future’
Essential Cuisine, Solina’s UK food service brand has been supplying CH&Co for many years. As an independent hospitality caterer, CH&Co has been using the blends and recipes that our team provides in its establishments all around the UK. Recruiting and retaining quality, skilled chefs is currently a key challenge in the food service industry especially for hospitality caterers like CH&Co. To combat this problem, Solina UK has partnered with CH&Co to develop a 12 month training academy to help new chefs develop their skills and knowledge for the future.
Why an academy?
In recent years, fewer people have been choosing to pursue a career as a chef. As a result, there has been a real lack of talented chefs coming into the market. With such a limited pool to choose from, companies that do manage to recruit need to value and protect their ‘chefs of the future’ by inspiring and motivating them in their roles.
CH&Co is an independent hospitality caterer operating everywhere from cafes, restaurants and fine dining in your workplace, to great coffee, cake and experiential events in some of the world’s most iconic destinations. Essential Cuisine has been working with CH&Co for over 3 years to provide products that make chefs’ lives easier. Through the brand, Solina UK provides a wide range of quality products that chefs can use to create tasty, healthy meals. Essential Cuisine’s products include jus, stocks, gravy, sauces, etc. The full product catalogue can be found at: https://www.essentialcuisine.com/products/.
As a partner, Essential Cuisine, part of the Solina group, also provides CH&Co with advice and services. Two years ago, Solina UK decided to take a proactive approach on the issue of chef recruitment and retention. With Essential Cuisine’s support, CH&Co created a 12-month chef training programme called the ‘Young Chef Academy’. Once a month, young chefs, based all across the UK, attend the academy and participate in workshops which are geared towards developing their skills and knowledge and creating a CH&Co spirit. The workshops cover nutrition and allergen training, recipe and menu inspiration, trend intelligence and general upskilling; differentiating CH&Co from other brands in the market. ‘Saturday Morning Kitchen’ also takes place twice a year. Essential Cuisine attends to offer training, showcase products and help and support CH&Co and the apprentices.
The value of Solina’s support
Beyond products, Essential Cuisine seeks to create value for its customers. As problem solvers, Solina’s teams are always looking for ways to support their clients. The academy is an excellent example of the group’s client focus and the service on offer: training, ideas to simplify the chef’s daily work and sharing trends are in Solina’s DNA. The academy has started its third year, demonstrating its importance to CH&Co and the eager chefs who take part.
Through the Essential Cuisine brand, Solina UK also provides tools and support. One simple, but effective tool is the branded portion spoons they provide which help CH&Co ensure consistent flavour across their sites and keep their costings in line. Essential Cuisine also provides sales support materials and a dedicated ‘customer care’ team to answer any questions to provide techniques and tips.
Essential Cuisine, the variety they do in the market today, with the vegans, vegetarians, low salt… it ticks all the right boxes for us. We get so many different demographics of people who are eating different things, and it is just key that we are supported in that way. We can give it towards our customers!