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Culinary academy recruits come from far afield to train in Cumbria


A fledgling group of students aspiring to forge careers as chefs in the hospitality and catering industry have joined one of Cumbria’s leading culinary academies.

The latest cohort of trainees enrolled on the English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues Culinary Academy includes local youngsters Hannah Jones from Levens and Dora Preece from Kirkby Lonsdale, as well as 26-year-old food writer and fine cuisine enthusiast Doris Lam from Vancouver.

Recruitment for this year’s academy intake has involved a wider catchment area due in part to its growing reputation.  Shantel Adjei has moved from Milton Keynes to take up her place on the course at Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa, whilst Doris will learn her trade at The Wild Boar Inn along with fellow new recruit Ethan Livesey from Lancaster.

The class of 2023 is completed by Ioana Stiop, originally from Romania, who will be based at Lancaster House Hotel, and Leo Nkumalo from Leicester who is working at Low Wood Bay.

Delivered in partnership with Kendal College, the English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues Culinary Academy is now into its sixth year.  It offers trainees a one year apprenticeship, with students training to attain Level 2 Commis Chef and Level 3 Chef de Partie qualifications.

The fully accredited courses allow the students to hone chef skills whilst earning a wage with the hotel group across its venues in the Lake District and North Lancashire.

Daniel Winstanley from English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues says: “It’s been heartening to see applicants from across the country, and in this case from overseas as well, keen to come and train with us and develop their careers in Cumbria.

“We’re also still working with local schools to maintain baseline catering skills provision and pathways into the hospitality industry wherever we can, and that includes offering demo sessions for schools who get in touch.

“Doris’ successful application obviously stands out as she was determined to join us from Canada.  And we can already see in his work and approach that Leo has a very creative mind.  He is particularly interested in 1950s cuisine and aims to run his own restaurant one day.

I’m greatly looking forward to working with the whole group over the next two years.”

In the past 3 years, the Culinary Academy has attained 100% achievement with all apprentices on Level 2 and Level 3 programmes.  Over 90% of the students have progressed on to further studies with the academy or have taken up full time roles within the hotel group.

English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues is currently recruiting for staff across a range of hospitality industry disciplines.  To find out more about available jobs and to apply, visit


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