A decade-long partnership between a leading local college and one of the country’s most well-respected chefs that has helped 80 learners embark on careers in hospitality has been celebrated.

The partnership between Truro and Penwith College and the Rick Stein Group began in the 2007/08 academic year with the opportunity for three young people to start their careers as catering apprentices at Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant in Padstow.

Senior members of staff from both organisations came together at Rick Stein’s Cookery School in Padstow to join the tenth group of apprentices at a ‘Talk and Taste’ event, where apprentices each prepared tasters from one of Rick Stein’s books and discussed their experiences since starting their Apprenticeship in November 2018.

Throughout the ten-year partnership both the college and the Rick Stein Group have enjoyed continued growth, in a period that has seen 80 apprentices start their careers at one of seven Cornish-based Rick Stein Group restaurants. While the majority have been kitchen-based roles, apprentices have also trained in team leadership, retail and warehousing roles.

Rick Stein attended the event to sample the food prepared by his latest group and awarded the ‘Kyle Award’ to Scott Wallace from Rick Stein, Porthleven. The annual Kyle Award is presented to the group’s most improved Apprentice, in memory of Kyle Kusano-Puffett, a Rick Stein Group Apprentice who tragically lost his life in 2015 while on day out with friends.

Rick Stein has always seen apprenticeships as a key way of sharing his knowledge and passion for professional cookery and the business and people skills needed to be a success in an increasingly competitive industry.

He said: “There is no substitute for learning whilst working as you quickly develop the skills you need to progress in this fast-paced industry. We’re proud to support Apprenticeships and work with those who are passionate about great food and making people smile.”