Social enterprise and training provider Enta has teamed up with Marketing Birmingham to arrange work placements for eight teenage catering students from across Birmingham. But these are not just any catering industry placements — the teenagers are working in Brum’s top Michelin-starred restaurants.
Restaurateurs and chefs from across Birmingham have backed the project, which gives each trainee four separate month-long placements at high-class kitchens including Purnell’s, Simpsons, Edmunds, Loves, Opus and Turners.
Shannon Meares,aged 17, from Walsall, is just one of the trainees taking part.
She started working in the prestigious Lasan Indian restaurant — which has won Gordon Ramsay’s ‘F Word Best Local Restaurant’ award — and will also complete a month-long placement at the Mint Hotel, before moving onto two other kitchens.
In her first week at Lasan, Shannon took on basic but essential kitchen-work like peeling onions and garlic, as well as helping with some desserts. However, in her second week the confident teenager asked to experience life at the front of house.
Shannon said: “It’s hard work and very different from anything I’ve ever done before. There’s a lot of pressure at the front of house and there’s lots to do. But from the point of view of learning it’s great.”
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Ramin Amini, from Aston, is training at Simpsons.
Ramin says, “I love food and having the chance to work in a restaurant with this reputation is a wonderful opportunity. I’m loving everything about it. The chefs are being so supportive and I’m learning about food and the way a kitchen operates.”
Susan Moloney, Enta’s catering mentor believes this is a unique opportunity for the trainees to see how truly top-class kitchens work — and also to see what they can achieve if they work hard enough. “For them to experience several of the top Birmingham restaurants and meet so many inspirational chefs so early in their careers is an amazing opportunity.”
The programme runs for 20 weeks and the students spend four weeks in one restaurant before moving onto the next.
Find out more from Enta or drop Dan Kendrick an email at d <dot> kendrick <at> quicksilverpr <dot> co <dot> uk.