We are very excited that Werner Hartholt and two of his students from the Butlin’s Chefs Academy will be in charge of the Amuse Bouche at the Media Launch of the 2023 Exmoor Food Fest on 12 October 2022 at Knowle Manor.
Werner Hartholt, group development chef at Butlin’s in Minehead, has been instrumental in bringing the academy to fruition.
“I had the plans in my head for about five years, so it’s really fantastic to see it come to life now,” Werner said. “The aim is not just to make them a chef for Butlin’s, but give them skills for life so they can take them anywhere they want. There is a real shortage of chefs at the moment, and the industry is taking a look at itself in how it operates.”
Werner will bring two of his students to Knowle Manor, Ginny Zdanevičiūtė and Jessica Simmons.
Ginny joined Butlin’s many years ago and has worked front and back of house in various roles. She has mainly been in charge of salad bars and desserts in the large buffet restaurants. She joined the academy to work on her skills and is thriving having worked in 3 other restaurants now to gain more experience.
Jessica had a variety of careers before she joined Butlin’s where she settle on working in the kitchen. It didn’t take long for her to pick up the pace and become an important part of the Fish restaurant. Jess has worked on her skills and joined 3 very different restaurants to gain more experience and will return to the fish restaurant when the academy finishes.
Butlin’s in Minehead only recently opened the brand new internal chef academy. The course runs for 52 weeks, and takes on 12 chefs four times a year from around the country.
The cohorts undertake an intensive training program that is grounded in French cuisine, but covers all manner of classic cooking techniques. The end result is a 52-week programme which is designed as an apprenticeship, giving people a chance to build a career.
It’s offered in all three Butlin’s resorts: Minehead, Bognor Regis and Skegness and isn’t limited to young chefs either, in the current Minehead cohort the ages range between 19 to 39.