Australian chef Peter Doyle is heading up a new Merivale Apprenticeship School for aspiring chefs.

Merivale will open The Merivale Apprenticeship School on 4 February to 20 apprentice chefs for a new culinary apprenticeship programme led by ex-est. restaurant’s Australian chef Peter Doyle.

Doyle will work with apprentices one-on-one to develop their skills, with two intakes of 20 students each in 2019 and only 10 in the classroom at one time. Applications for mid-year intake are now open.

Precision-based techniques will be a key focus of the course. Doyle will help the apprentices develop a deep understanding of the composition of dishes in order to make masters of the culinary arts. Following 10 initial weeks of fundamentals, students will move onto menu-based courses that allow them to cook dishes that are served across the Merivale group and work with the best produce available to encourage a passion for provenance.

Along with Doyle’s practical classes, students will spend time putting their skills to practice in the kitchens of Merivale venues, with access to over 70 bars and restaurants and a diverse range of different cuisines. Merivale’s executive chefs including Dan Hong, Danielle Alvarez and Jordan Toft will be brought in to teach their areas of specialty and work with their head chefs to manage and mentor these young apprentices in their venues each week.

Course content will be completed in 18 months, with a three-year commitment required for ongoing learning in the kitchen, fast-tracking talent into the workforce. All apprentices will receive their formal qualifications – SIT30616 Certificate III in Commercial Cookery.

The School will also see Merivale engage subject matter experts on specialised topics, like education on lifestyle, drugs and alcohol; mental health in the hospitality industry; and how to budget when moving out of home for the first time.

“Completing a Merivale Apprenticeship is all about ensuring that by the end, our apprentices have the skills to confidently work in any workplace and kitchen,” says Nick Norris, Merivale’s Apprenticeships & Traineeships Coordinator, “to the highest standard, but also that they have acquired personal skills, friendships and connections that will last for life in the industry.”

“The type of people we are looking for to join the program are intelligent, inquisitive, respectful, honest, resilient, growth-oriented individuals who are irrevocably obsessed with food. Our ideal candidate loves cooking for their friends and family, spends hours reading cook books and seeking inspiration online”, says Norris.

“You always want the people you’re teaching to be better than you are by the time that they’ve grown in their capacity,” says Doyle.

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