As a sign of its dedication to nurturing industry talent, foodservice supplier BaxterStorey has welcomed its first cohort of apprentices from the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (RACA).
This initiative highlights BaxterStorey’s commitment to empowering young people and promoting their growth in the industry.
The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (RACA) offers a comprehensive three-year chef’s apprenticeship program in partnership with institutions such as Bournemouth and Poole College. Throughout the apprenticeship, individuals alternately spend several months at the college and gain practical experience at different BaxterStorey customer sites. This three-year structured approach aims to equip apprentices with skills equivalent to those of a chef de partie.
Three interns have recently joined BaxterStorey and have worked in various locations including PwC in London.
The trainee will have the opportunity to work closely with experienced chef mentors Scott Dineen, Chris Jarman and Chris Terry at their own locations. These mentors provide guidance and exposure to various aspects of kitchen operations, from high-end hospitality to retail environments. In addition, they receive support from Andrew Aston, RACA Academy, who acts as a comprehensive mentor. Alongside Andrew, they are supported by Luke Smith, BaxterStorey’s London Regional Culinary Director and former RACA Executive Chef, and Nikki Woods, BaxterStorey’s Account Director and RACA Academic.
Apprentices include 19-year-old Jude, who started his hospitality journey at Wetherspoons before pursuing the RACA apprenticeship scheme. In addition, Louis, 17, and Megan, 16, followed their passion for cooking by applying for apprenticeships right out of school.
Megan said: “The apprenticeship program is great for my career, being able to learn from so many departments is a great way for me to increase my skills and confidence in the kitchen.
Jude added: “It’s amazing to have access to so many experienced chefs. The mentoring I’m given through my apprenticeship is a huge support.
At the end of the apprenticeship, trainees take the RACA qualification exam. Successful completion of this exam will enable them to achieve the prestigious RACA chef qualification.
The three apprentices have been seamlessly integrated into BaxterStorey as valuable team members and will continue their careers with the company after receiving their diplomas. Going forward, BaxterStorey aims to further its commitment to growing talent by taking on six new apprentices from the hospitality industry in 2025.
Andrew Aston, Head of Wellbeing and Nutrition at BaxterStorey, said: “The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts apprenticeship has been running for several years and the program has produced some great chefs, including Luke Smith and Sam Potter from our London chef team, and Steve Wilson, who runs the Winchester in the cathedral.
“I really enjoyed working with trainee chefs when I was managing kitchens, they bring a fantastic energy to the kitchen and allow you to impart knowledge as you guide them in their early years working in professional kitchens.”
Lisa Jenkins, chief executive of RACA, added: “BaxterStorey has always demonstrated a strong commitment to investing in young people and this partnership will help continue to develop our stars of the future.”