Vegetarian for Life

Enhancing catering excellence: The importance of training and skill development in care establishments and beyond

Posted by Alex on 29/04/24 in Articles, VfL News and Events

One of the most important parts of ensuring quality catering in any care establishment or generally at restaurants and cafés is investing in training.

Whether staff are seasoned caterers or young chefs setting out on their career, skill development is an ongoing process.

Vegetarian for Life offers a range of training for caterers, both bespoke in-person and online. If you are a Premium Accredited member you can access our online training for free. You also can have free annual in-person refresher training as part of the package.

Last week I was invited to Kendal College to deliver a practical session on various sources of protein and how to prepare some tasty vegan dishes.

The chefs in the class were studying through the modern apprenticeship scheme so had some time at college and some working in the catering industry.

I must say I was very pleased with how skillful and engaged the chefs were, asking a range of questions throughout the class.

At the start of the class, we discussed definitions of vegetarianism and veganism; the reasons a person may choose a vegan diet; good sources of protein; numbers of vegetarians; balanced diets; and, of course, the role of Vegetarian for Life.

Following this, with assistance from the students, I demonstrated how to cook tofu, which became part of a delicious Pad Thai, followed by Sweet and Sour Quorn and Sticky Toffee Pudding – one of my favourite recipes. The students then worked in pairs to reproduce two of these dishes.

At the end of the session the students brought their creations to the tasting table for feedback. Perhaps surprisingly (or not) even though all followed the same recipe each was slightly different. The quality of what they made was very high and they clearly enjoyed their work.

This session was an excellent introduction for the Kendal College Chef Apprentices to experience cooking with a range of meat alternatives to support their skills development. The session was expertly led by Alex Connell representing Vegetarian for Life. Alex delivered a balanced session of knowledge and practical. The apprentices were fully engaged and enjoyed the day.

Andy Salt, Apprentice Lecturer
Kendal College

Special thanks to Andy Salt for inviting me to the college, and to the apprentice chefs for their hard work. Hopefully I will be returning to the college soon to deliver a session for other trainee chefs.

If you are involved in catering and would be interested in finding out more about the training we offer please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Notify me of follow-up comments

Switch to dark mode Enlarge font size