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Catering Employer of the Year
Cambscuisine has been named Catering Employer of the Year in annual awards organised by Cambridge Regional College. The awards are an opportunity to celebrate excellent employers and employees across the region.
Cambs Cuisine has five city centre restaurants and four traditional country pubs, including fine dining gastropub the Tickell Arms at Whittlesford.
Here, three of our college apprentice chefs say the passion for their careers was fired, thanks to being on the apprenticeship programme.
The trio say that earning while being in a real-world work setting has been perfect for their learning style.
Jordan Rowney, 20, hopes his chef skills will give him the option to travel, with an ultimate dream of owning his own Michelin star restaurant.
He said: “I had a part time job in a hotel and the head chef asked if I fancied being kitchen porter. That’s when I got a taste for the life of a chef. I loved it. I began doing pastry and then had the chance of an apprenticeship.
“This way of learning means you are not on your own, you have the benefit of more experienced chefs and the background of classroom learning too.”
Reece Alderson, 21, also hopes to travel and become an established head chef. He said: “I studied catering at GCSE level and was entered into a regional contest by my school teachers which I enjoyed.
“Catering was the obvious next step study choice. However, full time college was not for me. Being an apprentice was perfect as it meant I could progress working and earning, while being in college one day a week.
“I have found my passion in catering. When I eat out I always taking notes and get menu ideas. Being a chef is hard work but great fun as a team too.”
George Dawkins-Ruiz, 20, has just finished his catering apprenticeship after starting life as a mechanic. He said: “I soon realised that mechanics was more of a hobby, so left the course and went for a job as a kitchen porter.
“Within three months the head chef offered a catering apprenticeship. I enjoy being able to earn money, get real world experience with just one day a week at college. I learn hands-on things in the kitchen, backed up by the classroom support.”
Jo Rees, Head of People Management at Cambscuisine, said: “Our vision at Cambscuisine is to grow the business through our people and by recruiting apprentices we are doing just that. We ensure that our apprentices emulate our values and behaviours, which grows them as an individual and alongside Cambridge Regional College we develop their skills and knowledge.
“As they are fresh into the industry we can coach and mentor from the outset to align with our standards and working practices, which enables us to have a pipeline of home-grown talent.
“Employment is high in and around Cambridge therefore it’s a win win for both parties; the apprentice is developing and gaining on the job experience whilst we are filling a skills gap along with a joint knowledge sharing of new ideas.”
So, for three rising chefs what is their favourite dish to cook and eat?
Jordan – Preparing deer has been my best experience so far. It took four hours. My favourite thing to eat is mushroom risotto.
Reece – I like to create fish dishes. My favourite thing to eat is a rack of lamb.
George – I love cooking a rib-eye steak and my favourite thing to eat is steak tartare.
VACANCIES AND WORKING WITH US
We are always searching for enthusiastic people who would be interested to work with us.
We have a variety of opportunities, both back of house and front of house and enjoy developing people.
Whether you want to work within one of our restaurants or at our events company we would be interested to hear from you.
If you are interested in either permanent work, seasonal part-time work or an apprenticeship please get in touch by completing the application form below and emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org
These values and behaviours were created through a series of focus groups, with a wide range of Cambscuisine members of staff. Everyone needs to live and breathe these values!
– No nonsense
– Lead on the front foot
To become an outstanding, progressive company with the infrastructure to deliver continuous local business growth through its people.
– 50% Off food at our restaurants for you and a friend.
– GT 365: We reward you on your work anniversary at five, and ten years service.
– Cycle scheme is an HMRC approved salary sacrifice scheme enabling employees to save on the cost of buying a bike for cycling to work.
– Pension: We have an Auto Enrolment Pension Scheme and NEST is our pension provider. All eligible employees are automatically enrolled.
– Staff Christmas Party.
– Recognition Awards: Being recognised by your colleagues is one of the greatest motivators. That’s why everyone has a chance to nominate their colleagues throughout the year for a recognition award. Successful nominations will also be entered into the Annual Awesome Award.
– Apprenticeship Awareness: We encourage our employees to take apprenticeships and support them with a programme of workshops throughout the year. We also have an annual Anise Award which is given to the apprentices who we believe have gone the extra mile in both their studies and at work, along with demonstrating excellent attitude and commitment.
– Charity, Community & Wellbeing: Each restaurant is given two paid days per year to work at their chosen charity. Our Cambscuisine Community Fund was also set up in 2019 and you can find more information about this under our Social Responsibility Page.
– Wine Trips to the Languedoc Roussillon for Management.
HOW ARE WE GOING TO ACHIEVE IT?
– Our Learning Management System, Flow Hospitality is an e-learning platform that allows us to create training journeys tailored to each member of staff.
– Internal and external training courses for all employees.
– Apprenticeships – we actively encourage apprenticeships and are keen to take on apprentices within the company.
– Encouraging employee feedback through regular employee communications and roadshows.
Sunday Times Top 100 Results
In 2018 we applied for the Sunday Times Best 100 Companies To Work For. We are delighted to have been awarded a 2 star accreditation.
This is the second-highest standard of workplace engagement and represents organisations thriving for the top. Achieving a 2 Star accreditation takes a BCI score of at least 696.5, made possible only through an ‘outstanding’ commitment to workplace engagement.
Our employees are at the heart of what we do and from the feedback of our employee survey we achieved a two star ‘outstanding’ accreditation. However, we appreciate that our industry is not the easiest as far as working hours and employees’ health and lifestyle so we decided to be pro-active and offer employees some wellbeing opportunities during June 2018 and also invited customers to some events.
We arranged pilates, yoga and mindfulness sessions. We also offered on-site reflexology sessions, healthier staff meals and flavoured waters were available.
We strive to make our workplace somewhere our employees want to be and will continue to run wellbeing events in the future.