D&D London is opening the doors of a professional kitchen to students from London in an effort to give them a real taste of what goes on behind the pass and encourage them to pursue a career in hospitality.
Youngsters will have the chance to work alongside head chef Joseph Albina at the Blueprint Cafe and get a chance to use equipment that will allow them to deliver a ticketed three-course lunch to the public.
The move is part of a two-week group-wide initiative by the restaurant chain to encourage young adults into hospitality, starting from Monday 25 February.
In a bid to address the industry’s growing skills gap and recruitment challenge, the firm hopes to inspire young people to view hospitality as an aspirational career path by offering a series of open-door events across their restaurants under the banner of ‘My Hospitality World’.
D&D London chairman and CEO, Des Gunewardena, feels recruitment and inspiring the next generation are issues that are critical to the industry.
“Given the current uncertain political climate in the UK, it’s crucial to our future that we have plenty of young talent eager to come into hospitality. Working in restaurants is viewed by many people as not being an occupation to aspire to and we want to change that. Working in restaurants can be highly rewarding and provide a lifelong career – we’re hoping to demonstrate that with My Hospitality World.”
As part of My Hospitality World, D&D London has scheduled an eclectic and interactive programme of activities for the duration of the initiative including a fiery Flambé Masterclass, an Apprenticeship Taster evening and a dedicated event in support of International Women’s Day (8 March), to inspire more young women to become professional chefs.
In order to give students a real taste of what goes on in the professional kitchen, there will also be a full restaurant takeover of D&D London’s Blueprint Café by students from London South East College.
Working alongside head chef Joseph Albina, students will design, cook and serve a ticketed three-course lunch to the public to get a real appreciation of the hard work and preparation that goes into a restaurant service.
D&D London is a firm believer in the need for strong links with education and has developed a schedule of tailored work experience for year 10 and 12 pupils in association with charity Inspire.
Over the past three years, the chain has welcomed over 200 young people into its kitchens on work experience, many of whom were inspired to pursue a career in the hospitality industry.
Carol Cairnes, head of talent for D&D London, said: “It is important we invest time in young men and women as these are the largest pool of talent for us. Hospitality World will raise awareness of and inspire lots more young adults to join our great industry.”