Bring out the Chef in you


Richard Blower joined the team in 2017, having spent more than 30 years in the hospitality sector. He began working in hospital catering before moving into large scale contract catering and onto a range of management roles. Richard’s keen to ensure quality-guaranteed qualifications that prove performance in a real work environment.

"My first job was in hospital catering where I started as a Commis Chef and worked my way up to Kitchen Manager. I then moved into catering management and worked for a world wide catering company where I had various jobs including prison catering where I moved into a training managers role.  I have been involved in training ever since."

What made you want to work in catering?

My mum was a great cook and and I would always help her in the kitchen. I did cookery at school and when it came to start thinking about what I wanted to do when I left school I thought I would combine what I really enjoyed with a job.
What’s the most exciting part about your role?
I realised that I enjoyed passing on my skills and knowledge to others. I get a great sense of reward knowing that I have helped someone gain the skills and qualifications needed to go on and make a career in the hospitality industry.
What’s the biggest challenge in your role?
The standards and qualifications are changing and being updated all the time. So my challenge is to ensure that our training programmes reflect these changes to ensure our learners are gaining the required knowledge and skills.

What’s involved in a catering apprenticeship?

L2 Production chef you will spend 12 months training to the occupational standards. As part of a kitchen team you work with your mentor and colleagues to prepare and cook meals for your customers.

After the 12 months you will be expected to be able to:

  • Maintain excellent standards of personal, food and kitchen hygiene
  • Ensure compliance to procedures, menu specifications and recipes
  • Produce food meeting portion controls, and budgetary constraints
  • Adapt and produce dishes to meet special dietary, religious and allergenic requirements
  • Follow, complete and maintain production schedules, legislative and quality standard documentation
  • Use specialist kitchen equipment
  • Communicate internally and externally with customers and colleagues
  • Commit to personal development activities

You will also be working on your Functional Skills Maths and English if required.

You will then complete your End Point Assessment which involves you taking an online exam followed by an observation of you working and a discussion about your job.
Where could an apprenticeship in catering take someone?
A Production Chef works as part of a team in time-bound and often challenging kitchen environments which can include schools, hospitals, the Armed Forces, care homes and high street casual dining or pub kitchens. They will either report to the Senior Production Chef or the appropriate line manager at the kitchen.
To find out more about the qualification and to enquire for a catering apprenticeship click here.