pictured…Steve Brown and Neil Forbes at Cafe St Honoré

Neil Forbes, chef director at Cafe St Honoré in Edinburgh’s New Town, has partnered with Edinburgh Food Social to offer a 3-month apprenticeship to an early school leaver keen to pursue a career in the industry. Edinburgh Food Social (EFS) has been teaching young people and communities about food since 2015, and this will be their first full apprenticeship cohort.

Steve Brown, the Head of Education at EFS said: “This scheme couldn’t have come at a more important time. Along with many industries, hospitality is in turmoil right now, and we’re excited to give this group of young people the opportunity they so richly deserve.”  COVID-19 has the potential to decimate so many futures and we’re committed to ensuring our apprentices gain the skills and understanding they need to succeed in the food industry, as well as learning some valuable life skills.”

Neil Forbes is committed to working with the community, having offered many apprenticeships over the last two decades. In 2013, Cafe St Honoré won the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s ‘Society’ award in recognition of their endeavours, receiving praise from the SRA’s president Raymond Blanc. 

Neil said: “Working with young people produces very powerful results that have a ripple effect back into the communities they come from, as well as within the restaurant’s working environment. 

It’s up to me as a chef to make sure I help teach the next generation, to pass on skills and stories. Being a chef is about so much more than just cooking. There’s sourcing, being part of a team, and all the emotions that go with that. 

It may seem insignificant, but the chefs that are partnering on this apprenticeship scheme are literally changing people’s lives. And I’m sure we’re all proud to be able to contribute.”

As well as Cafe St Honoré, other apprenticeship partners include Edinburgh Larder, Contini, First Coast, Angels with Bagpipes, Howies, Twelve Triangles and l’escargot bleu. 

Steve said: “We have been hand-picked our partners as we know they will give our young people a fantastic understanding of where food comes from, its history, how to cook it respectfully as well as making it look and taste wonderful.”

The apprenticeships begin this week.

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