Proud sponsor of new Junior Chefs' Academy

Thursday 5 February, 2009.  Michelin starred Chef Michael Deane and the Minister for Employment and Learning Sir Reg Empey launch the New Chefs' Academy in Deans Restaurant, Belfast. 

The Junior Chefs' Academy aims to bridge the gap between school children aged between 12-16 with those in further education and the catering and hospitality industry. Those who have enrolled in this 10 week program will have the opportunity to learn about:

  • Basic cookery and nutrition
  • Hygiene practices
  • Developing health and safety skills
  • Gaining an appreciation of real food and healthy eating

The Academy is being run in 6 regional venues across Northern Ireland, and in its first year the program has over 100 students enrolled.

Junior Chefs’ Academy was established in England by contract caterers Compass Group in 2003 where it has received a raft of awards, and attracted the support of the Craft Guild of Chefs members, and celebrity chefs such as Brian Turner, Jean Christophe-Novelli, Cyrus Todiwala and Ainsley Harriet.

The Junior Chefs’ Academy programme was brought to Northern Ireland by People 1st with support from the Department of Employment and Learning. Along with safefood, other key sponsors include the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, City and Guilds and the Institute of Hospitality.

For further information on the Junior Chefs’ Academy contact your local regional college or email


Junior Chef Academy posing at launch

At the launch of Junior Chefs’ Academy are left to right, Tiarnan Brady from North West Regional College, Sir Reg Empey, Minister for Employment and Learning, Michael Deane who hosted the launch and Hannah Clarke from South West Regional College.