Gennaro hails Jamie Oliver's latest Fifteen graduates
The latest batch of apprentice chefs have graduated from Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Cornwall restaurant after completing an intensive 16-month programme.
The 12 recruits, all aged 16 to 24 and not previously in education, employment or training, were recognised in an award ceremony at the Eden Project.
The Naked Chef's own mentor, Gennaro Contaldo, hosted the evening, which included film clips highlighting the apprentice's experiences.
Training and development chef, Karl Jones, said: "Our apprentices have had a busy year covering all sections in the Fifteen Cornwall kitchen. By training our guys in a real working environment we were able to get them to a great level within their 12 months with us. Not only have they gained a professional qualification, they have also learnt skills in butchery, baking and fish filleting. They have also had a month's work experience in some of the county's best restaurants."
One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of the Apprentice of the Year award to Ryan Smith from Perranporth and the Personal Development award to Matthew Macdonald from Bodmin.
The awards each year are presented to the two apprentices who have made the most significant journey within the kitchen and training programme.
Other awards included 'The One Who Really Gets It' awarded to Haley Sugden, the Fifteen Cornwall True Believer Award to Tom Sobey, the Progression Award given to Sam Lounds, the Cornwall Foundation of Promise True Believer award to Glen Gatland, and finally the Most Inspirational Chef award presented to trainer chef Tom Vose of Fifteen Cornwall.
Each of the graduates will now move on to full-time employment.
Chief executive officer Matthew Thomson said: "It has been a great privilege to work alongside them and I have seen close up the incredible demands we place on our apprentices and the enormous stamina, discipline, determination, humour and team spirit needed to succeed in the Fifteen Cornwall training programme".