Professional Cookery - Michael Caines Academy
Faculty of Hospitality, Hair and Beauty
Faculty Level Location Length Ask Apply
Hospitality, Hair and Beauty Level 1 - VRQ1 Diploma Laurence Building 1 year

What is it like to study this course and how will I be assessed?

Inspired by our illustrious alumnus Michael Caines MBE, Exeter College has launched the Michael Caines Academy with the aim of nurturing the region's future generation of talented restaurateurs, chefs, restaurant managers, waiters and front of house staff. This is a fantastic opportunity for young people seeking a career in hospitality at whatever level. It is more than just a course – with Michael directly involved, there will be high profile experiences, challenging practical and theoretical workshops and master classes from the very best in industry.

This course teaches you a variety of catering craft skills to a high standard. Practical work features strongly, supported by cookery theory, hospitality based assignments and question papers. You will work towards a VRQ1 Certificate in Food and Beverage Service and a Diploma in Professional Cookery within the realistic working environments of the @thirty-four restaurant and kitchens. Your learning will be supplemented by an array of Farm to Fork / Vine to Glass Experiences, guest chef appearances, workshops, visits, placements and much more!

Please click here for more information about the Michael Caines Academy. The programme consists of a variety of experiences ranging from placements, visits, guest speakers, guest chefs and industry professionals. The qualification will challenge you practically and theoretically - regularly assessed with graded outcomes (pass, credit, distinction) The VRQ diplomas will aid your progression on to higher level programmes, apprenticeships or into employment.

What topics will I study?

  • Introduction to the catering and hospitality industry
  • Food Safety in Catering
  • Health and Safety awareness for catering and hospitality
  • Introduction to healthier foods and special diets
  • Introduction to kitchen equipment
  • Introduction to personal workplace skills
  • Prepare and cook food by boiling, poaching and steaming
  • Prepare and cook food by stewing and braising
  • Prepare and cook food by baking, roasting and grilling
  • Prepare and cook food by deep frying and shallow frying
  • Regeneration of pre-prepared foods
  • Cold food preparation
  • Legislation in food and beverage service
  • Understanding menus
  • Introduction to personal workplace skills
  • Dealing with payments and bookings
  • Food and beverage service skills
  • Bar Skills
  • Hot beverage skills

You may do Functional Skills in IT, Communication and Application of Number.

What experiences will I get?

A key part of the Michael Caines Academy course is the exposure to a range of exciting opportunities and unique experiences. These include, guest demonstrations from visiting Chefs and food organisations, student visits to a range of hotels, top class restaurants, food producers and culinary establishments. Previous opportunities have included; cooking live at the South West Festival of Food and Drink; practical workshops with Michael Caines MBE, demonstrations from baristas, abattoirs, environmental health and farm producers; and visits to Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons, Coombe House and Gidleigh Park. All Michael Caines Academy students will complete a six week practical work experience placement in a catering or hospitality setting of their choice. In addition to the above students will develop their skills cooking and serving in the college's commercial @thirty-four restaurant throughout the year.

What are the entry requirements?

Due to the demands of this exciting course, entry requirements are higher than those usually required for a Level 1 course. All students must start at Level 1 in order to gain the basic cookery skills to reach the standard necessary. You must have a passion for hospitality and catering and an ambition to excel in the industry. Students must have a minimum of three GCSEs at Grade 4 or above (including a grade 4 in maths and English). The Michael Caines Academy is highly selective - applicants will be invited to a selection day which will include theory and practical assessments of knowledge, people skills, teamwork, dexterity and taste/palette. Applicants will also undergo a formal interview with Exeter College staff and Michael Caines MBE.

What can I study alongside this course?

This course is studied on its own and cannot be combined with other courses. You may study Functional Skills in IT, Communication and Application of Numbers if required.

What facilities are there?

The Laurence Building boasts new facilities throughout including an IT suite, modern kitchens and a stunning commercial restaurant within the faculty. New additional training facilities are currently being developed in the Laurence Building.

What can the course lead on to?

Students who successfully complete this year will progress onto the Professional Cookery VRQ2 Diploma - the second year of the Michael Caines Academy programme.

Are there any additional costs?

Uniform, knives and equipment will cost approximately £350.00. This equipment will last you for your entire programme and will positively help start your career in the catering and hospitality sector.

This further education course is free for all 16-18 year olds who are resident in the UK and the European Economic Area for the last 3 years. (You must be under 19 on 31st August in the calendar year that you start your course). For any fee-related queries or further information, please contact the Advice and Recruitment Team on 01392 400444.


College Prospectus

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