Exclusive Chefs' Academy

Calling all chefs of the future! The Exclusive Chefs' Academy is an inspirational programme for budding commis chefs to discover and develop their talent in the kitchen over a two year programme. 

What's involved?

The Exclusive Chefs' Academy is a career development programme created to increase opportunities for chefs within Exclusive Collection. The programme offers a unique opportunity to fine tune your cooking skills, develop your career and set yourself on the road to success and promotion. With a wide range of experiences around our many diverse and award winning restaurants, extensive conference, banqueting and pastry kitchens, as well as drawing on the vast experience or our talented chefs. 

Your Academy Journey

As part of your journey you will have the opportunity to:

  • Experience our extensive range of Exclusive kitchens
  • Learn from the very best banqueting professionals
  • Practice advanced pastry techniques
  • Work in our fine dining restaurants
  • Prepare dishes for high profile clients
  • Work with a wide range of quality produce
  • Visit our extensive range of suppliers
  • Learn how to source quality ingredients
  • Develop your kitchen management skills
  • Enter external competitions and raise your profile
  • Build your leadership skills

Guided by Andy Mackenzie

Andy Mackenzie has been a chef with Exclusive Collection for nearly 30 years. During this time he has been Hampshire Chef of the year multiple times. He is on the board of Hampshire Fare and has performed hundreds of cooking demonstrations at schools, colleges, food festivals and even radio stations. He was instrumental in launching 'Create and Cook' a cookery competition aimed at showcasing the culinary skills of young people across Hampshire.

Do you have what it takes?

The Academy is for commis chefs with at least one year of experience (preferable) and has been designed to equip you with the skills and experience needed to take you from Commis to Chef de Partie. As a full time member of the kitchen team you will be based at one of our properties across the business and be exposed to the different cooking styles of our award winning chefs. In addition you will also enjoy extensive off-the-job training away from your usual workplace involving masterclasses, go on visits to the producers of the quality ingredients used in the business and attend workshops led by experts in their field.

You will be issued with a full uniform including chefs' whites, aprons and appropriate safety shoes. By committing to the two year programme you will also enjoy complimentary meals during your working hours as well as staff discounts on accommodation and food and drinks across Exclusive Collection.

Exclusive Collection's commitment to development will ensure that the focus is balanced between your needs as a chef and the needs of the business and will cover team challenges and competitions involving rigorous assessment.

Interested? Our applications are open!

Application form

The Exclusive Chefs' Academy programme requires a great deal of commitment from all those involved. Should you be successful in securing a place, it is vitally important to note that it is not a programme to be taken lightly, though it is certainly one that you will find extremely rewarding.As Exclusive Collection is making a considerable investment into your personal development, and whilst there is no fee required from you to join the programme, we do ask you to make a full commitment to us in return that you will complete the two year programme. You will be required to do a lot of travel as part of the programme and therefore you will need your own car and driving license. In Year 1 of the programme, you will be based at one of our fantastic properties - whilst in Year 2, you will re-locate to another property as part of your development. Please note, you will not be able to complete your two year programme at only one property.

Before answering the questions contained in the application form, please read and complete the ‘Promissory Agreement’ and ‘Your Commitment’ sections:

Promissory Agreement

If you resign or are dismissed for misconduct within a certain period of time during the course or after completing the programme, we will make a deduction from your final salary as follows:

0 – 6 months of starting: £500 | 6 months of starting – completion: £1700 | Within 6 months of completion: £1700 | Between 6 – 12 months after completion: £500 | 12 months + after completion: No repayment

Your commitment

Please note that should you be successful in securing a place on this programme, you will be required to sign an agreement for our records.

Course dates – September 2021 – September 2023(You may be able to start in the business prior to these dates, however the programme content will begin from September)

Please answer all of the following questions as fully as possible: