By Angela Green: New Bradford College Chef Academy launched with MyLahore Restaurants.
A new chef academy specialising in British Asian cuisine has been launched to further enhance hospitality and catering training from Bradford College.
The MyLahore Academy will shortly be enrolling its first class of adult (19+) students who will commence the new programme in September.
Fifteen students will learn the art of fusion cooking from experts at MyLahore, working at Bradford College and in restaurant settings, while gaining a Level 2 Professional Cookery qualification.
MyLahore Academy trainees and students on other hospitality and catering programmes will benefit from monthly masterclasses covering pasties to curries. The masterclasses will be delivered at both Bradford College and in restaurant kitchens by MyLahore professionals.
Academy students will also participate in the ‘Plan to Plate’ challenge, a competition to create an original dish that could be served at MyLahore restaurants and may even feature on the menu if popular with customers.
At the end of the one-year programme, Academy trainees will attend a special graduation celebration, after which they will have the chance to gain full-time employment at MyLahore restaurants, progress in the catering industry, or continue to Level 3 training at Bradford College.
Furkan Uddin, Head of Department for Professional Services at Bradford College, said: “We’re delighted MyLahore has agreed to be the employer sponsor of this new Academy at Bradford College.
“Tutors have collaborated with MyLahore to create bespoke Level 2 curriculum, tailoring units to their business needs. Not only is this a fantastic opportunity for students to learn at the forefront of culinary innovation, but it delivers sought-after skills needed in a booming sector and which appeals to a local demographic and jobs market.”
Since the reopening of the hospitality sector post-pandemic, many bars and restaurants across the UK have struggled to fill crucial roles. Job vacancies reached 146,000 between November 2022 and January 2023, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – 72% higher than those recorded pre-pandemic – making aspirational and targeted education in the field more vital than ever.
Rooted in Yorkshire, MyLahore British Asian Kitchen opened its doors in 2002. Today, the restaurant has outlets in Bradford, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, and Blackburn. Offering everything from samosas to shepherd’s pie and karahis to cornflake tarts, MyLahore is proud of its British Asian origin story.
The Academy induction masterclass in September will be delivered by Ghafoor Farooq, who began his journey at Bradford College before progressing to Food & Innovation Director at MyLahore.
Ghafoor said: “This innovative education collaboration is an exciting new development for MyLahore and Bradford College. Given there is an urgent sector-wide call for more specialists with skills in international cuisine, we’re confident the MyLahore Academy will help shape talent to fill skill shortages in the UK workforce and lead to real paid employment in our restaurants.”
As part of the employer sponsorship, two MyLahore chefs worked with staff and students catering for The Big Iftar Bradford College event (a fast-breaking meal for students, staff, and stakeholders in Ramadan) on 30 March.
MyLahore is also offering:
- Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training for Bradford College catering staff on South Asian cuisine and fusion foods.
- Branded chef whites and aprons for all Academy students.
- Work placement opportunities for 16-18-year-old students across other curriculum areas, from business to travel and tourism.
Bradford College is an established training provider for the Hospitality & Catering industry, with courses available to those who want to enhance their job prospects with management qualifications or start out in the industry.
Using top-of-the-range equipment and catering facilities, kitchens, and the on-site Grove Restaurant & Café Bar, students work on events and menus under the guidance of expert lecturers and industry professionals.
Helping hospitality and catering operators warewash more sustainably