• Cyril McAree

Chef Network Skillnet Announces Autumn Schedule of Training Events Uniquely Designed To Address Indu

Chef Network Skillnet, the training arm of of Ireland’s professional chef community Chef Network, which launched earlier this year, has announced that it is to run 34 peer-led training events to take place nationwide this autumn. The subsidised training events will be uniquely tailored to address key challenges in the hospitality and foodservice industries and will focus on Personal & Leadership Skills, Business Skills, and Culinary Skills. Events will include masterclasses, hands-on workshops, best practice visits, forums and seminars.

Far Left: Leading chef Danni Barry, who achieved a Michelin star in 2015, is amongst the chefs who deliver Chef Network Skillnet Masterclasses

The training is subsidised through the support of Skillnet Ireland, allowing Chef Network to provide it to member chefs and employers at significantly reduced rates.

Ruth Hegarty, head of community at Chef Network, said, “Chefs are a major, and sometimes undervalued, asset of every food or hospitality businesses. Employers need to invest in their chefs in order to keep them. We are focussed on supporting chefs and their employers with professional development that is chef-led, helping them progress on their career path and helping retain talent in the sector. The skill-set required for mid- to senior-level chefs is vast and goes way beyond cooking ability. That is why our training through the Chef Network Skillnet covers not only culinary skills but also essential Personal & Leadership and Business Skills. Chef Network also has a big focus on wellness and culture change, because we recognise that as an industry we need to look after our people better.”

Acclaimed Irish chef Danni Barry, who achieved a Michelin star for Deanes EIPIC, Belfast in 2015, which she retained for three years before leaving to set up Clenaghans Restaurant, Craigavon last year, said, “I would strongly encourage chefs and employers to get involved with the Chef Network training. It gives your chefs the chance to go out and learn, and bring that back to the kitchen and to the rest of the team. I have personally gotten a lot out of my involvement; the learning goes far beyond the topic of the course itself. In Chef Network you are amongst your peers and at the training you are in an environment with fellow chefs, understanding not only what is happening in the industry but also that others face similar challenges. Any chef who is not already a member of Chef Network needs to sign up right now and employers need to get involved.” Danni is one of the many accomplished chefs who deliver masterclasses for Chef Network.

The Chef Network Skillnet autumn training events vary from a 12-week (with six in-class days) accredited Leading & Managing People course to a two-day best practice visit to Copenhagen in collaboration with the Food On The Edge symposium focussed on Tackling Food Waste with zero waste restaurant Amass (18-19 September). A one-day Future Proofing Foodservice Seminar (25 September) will address ways of increasing sustainability within the food service sector, while a one-day Student Industry Forum in IT Tallaght on the 6th of November will connect culinary arts students and lecturers across Ireland with industry chefs to explore career opportunities and career progression.

The Culinary Skills-focussed training from Chef Network Skillnet this autumn will include masterclasses and workshops on Sourdough Baking, The Art of Plating, Wild Food, Modern Pastry Techniques, Bi-Product Cooking, Fish & Meat Skills and more.

Personal & Leadership Skills training will include Leading & Managing People (QQI Level 6), Wellness in the Workplace workshops, a series of Round Tables to develop a ‘Better Workplace Charter’, and a Kitchen Culture Seminar.

Training offered in the area of Business Skills will include Cost Management & Profitability in the Professional Kitchen, Tackling Waste, and a Future-Proofing Foodservice Seminar on sustainability.

Chefs can sign up to Chef Network for free through the website www.chefnetwork.ie where they will also gain access to an online community where they can ask for advice, find and post jobs, and read blogs from other chefs on topics such as wellness, sourcing sustainably, experiences travelling & working abroad, and more.

For dates, locations, prices and other information about the Chef Network Skillnet autumn training events, see www.chefnetwork.ie or email info@chefnetwork.ie.

You can follow @ChefNetworkIRL on Facebook and Twitter.

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