Valor Hospitality Europe, which manages 17 hotels across the UK, has signed up to the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Adopt a School initiative, to help educate more children about food and inspire them to consider a career in hospitality.
As part of the scheme, chefs and restaurant managers from each Valor hotel are now visiting or planning visits to their local ‘adopted’ primary schools to provide classes on all things food, to children aged eight and nine.
As well as teaching a range of cooking skills, the lessons are also planned to help children understand the link between food, health, nutrition, social skills and the environment, whilst also offering an insight into the hospitality sector. In addition, the children will be taught the art of service; learning about how to correctly lay tables and waiting on skills and there is an optional fourth session on bread making.
Before visiting the schools, Valor’s professional chefs and restaurant managers attended specialist training sessions with the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, where they learned how best to deliver the classes to the pupils, all of which has been funded by Valor.
The national Adopt a School programme has received support from several high-profile faces since its launch in 1990, including HRH The Prince of Wales (Royal Academy of Culinary Arts’ Patron), Brian Turner CBE, John Williams MBE, Heston Blumenthal OBE and Raymond Blanc OBE.
The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts is Britain’s leading association of head chefs, pastry chefs and restaurant managers committed to educating, training and providing career opportunities for current and future hospitality professionals.
Moira Laird, human resources director at Valor Hospitality Europe, said: “Like many sectors, hospitality is facing a skills shortage, so it’s extremely important that we, and more businesses like ours, get involved in schemes like Adopt a School, which get children to think more about careers within the industry.
“Whilst the programme is ultimately providing children with valuable life skills centred around cooking and health, it’s also getting pupils excited about food and healthy living too, which is great.”
Edward Cross, general manager at the Doubletree by Hilton Chester, who is leading the scheme on behalf of Valor, said: “Working with our talented team of chefs on the Adopt a School initiative, it’s been fantastic to see how eager they are to get out into their local communities and inspire the next generation to cook.
“With fast food and a lack of real food education continuing to be a problem, we’re putting all of our efforts into ensuring that more young people understand that nutrition and making healthy, home-cooked food can be easy to do, fun and delicious.”
Sara Jayne Stanes OBE, chief executive at the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, said: “By encouraging all 17 UK hotels to get involved with Adopt a School, Valor Hospitality Europe is showing a clear commitment to giving back to the industry and inspiring the next generation.
“Adopt a School is proud to deliver food education to 15,000 children every year, but it is these industry partnerships with professionals sharing their passion and expertise, promoting the healthy eating message and providing an insight into the wonderful world of hospitality that enable us to make a real difference to even more children’s lives.”
Valor Hospitality Europe has been operational in the UK for three years and manages 17 properties in its UK portfolio on behalf of investment vehicles affiliated with MCAP Global Finance Ltd.