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Posted on 7 January, 2021


HIT Training is launching the UK’s first plant-based training programme for chefs in collaboration with meat free pioneer, Quorn.

The eight-month Plant Based training programme is available to chefs at all levels and delivered by HIT’s award winning Chef Academy, launches at a trends and insight webinar on Tuesday 26th January featuring cookery masterclasses from Chantelle Nicholson Chef Patron at Tredwells & All’s Well alongside Rory Mitchell and Mark Belford from HIT and a live Q&A.

Plant-based dishes are no longer on the menu to cater for the minority, customers are actively demanding delicious meat-free options. Whether consumers follow a meat free diet or not, 25% believe it is important that meals they eat Out of Home do not contain much meat*1.

Paul Mannering, Principal of the HIT Chef Academy says, “It’s a pleasure to work with Quorn to launch our Plant Forward training programme and help to grow talent and support the next generation of chefs. Our objective is for chefs to finish the programme with a core set of skills and depth of knowledge across a variety of plant-based ingredients and products.

“In November 2015, we launched the HIT Chef Academy as an additional training opportunity for the chef apprentices we work with across the country. Since then, the academy has gone from strength-to-strength and we have taken the innovative learning format to collaborate with businesses and suppliers, such as Quorn, to develop bespoke training programmes which are tailored to the requirements and demands of the hospitality sector.”

Interest in plant-based menus shows no sign of slowing with health and sustainability playing a key role in the decision making. 68% of those reducing their meat intake say ‘a generally healthy lifestyle’ for their choice of diet*1 is the reason behind their choices, whilst 67% say ‘protecting the planet for future generations’ is the reason they want to reduce their carbon footprint*2.

Claire Roper, Head of Marketing & Innovation Foodservice at Quorn says: “We’re really excited to be part of HIT’s first ever Plant Forward training programme. We have big ambitions at Quorn to help reduce the impact of our diets on the planet and our health. Mycoprotein, the super-protein at the heart of all Quorn products, plays a big role in helping us achieve this. It is nutritious and sustainable like no other protein.

“Meat-free and plant-based dishes need to be exciting and full of flavour to capture imaginations. Lack of choice and innovative ideas frustrates consumers of plant-based foods when eating Out of Home. 86% of vegan consumers believe it is important that there is a specially created vegan dish on the menu, rather than a non-vegan dish that has been adapted*3.

“We hope to inspire and empower the next generation of chefs through the HIT course by highlighting just how easy it is to add creative meat-free dishes to menus,” concludes Claire.

The course will feature a module on Quorn to showcase its versatility across different dishes and cuisines, alongside a module on sustainability to highlight the positive role plant-based proteins can have on both the health of the planet and people.

Chefs interested in applying to the course should visit https://hittraining.co.uk/hit-chef-academy-1.

Book your place at the launch event now


Date & time:      Tuesday 26th January 10.30am - 12.30pm

Where:                Zoom

Host:                    Richard Fox – plant-based chef, writer & presenter

Agenda:              The growth of plant based, Paul Mannering, HIT Chef Academy Principal  

                             Quorn masterclass, Chantelle Nicholson, Chef Patron at Tredwells and All’s Well

                             Plant Forward masterclass, Mark Belford, HIT Vice Principal

Book your place at the launch event now

*1 CGA BrandTrack 2020. Sample size 4987
*2: YouGov - Total sample size was 2067 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 14th April 2020 - 15th April 2020.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
*3 CGA Food Insights


It was great speaking to our account manager, Catherine, this afternoon and great to hear that HIT are being so supportive with our apprentices, I found the call very positive in a time of crisis, so thank you.

The Learner’s leaflet is great and being sent out to Apprentices and Line Managers following our communication last week providing a great follow up.

Jonathan Foot - Head of Apprenticeships, Compass Group

McMullen’s chose HIT as its sole external provider for Apprenticeships and vocational qualifications in early 2015 and since then we have found them a pleasure to work with.  Their expertise in this sector is superior and they have proven to be a professional and supportive partner who have a passion for learning and development, which matches our own organisation.

Amanda Walden – Training & Recruitment Manager, McMullen's

Encouraging our staff to improve their skills set and supporting them through apprenticeships and training programmes underlines our commitment to help them further develop their own careers. Offering the Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship also gives the Brend Group a point of difference which I’m convinced will help attract new members of staff in the future.

Andrew Mosedale - Group HR Manager, Brend Hotels

Our partnership with HIT has certainly made recruitment much easier in a very difficult labour market and gives us a point of difference in an increasingly competitive environment.  Kew Green has also benefited enormously from well trained, skilled and competent staff who contribute significantly to the ever improving and high levels of customer experience that our guests expect and deserve.

Andrew Tregenza - HR Business Partner, Kew Green Hotels

Apprenticeships allow us to give people a great opportunity to develop a career with us and learn a skill or trade that will accompany them throughout their career and life. We see progression to the Level 4 qualification as key to our strategy of providing development at all stages of an employee’s career with Harrison.

Alex Taylor - Training Manager, Harrison Catering Services

HIT Training has provided such an incredible support to us during lockdown, with regular webinar invitations, videocalls and engagement solutions. Our business focus shifted to learning and development and we managed to enrol 3 times more apprentices on training programmes than before!

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