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School cook teams up with top Yorkshire chef for Host a School Chef 2018!

Posted on 5 September, 2018

A local school cook from Selby swapped school dinners for fine dining, as part of a national Host a School Chef event. Jeanette Lee from Selby Community Primary School spent the day in the kitchen at Yorkshire’s only 5 star hotel, the sophisticated Grand Hotel and Spa, York. 

Working alongside the hotel’s Executive Head Chef, Craig Atchinson, Jeanette gained valuable practical experience of working in a high-pressure kitchen environment and picked up a few tips to take back to school with her.

The kitchen swap was organised by Simon Liversedge, North and East Yorkshire sector manager at HIT Training – the apprenticeship provider of choice to the hospitality industry. It was part of a nationwide school chef event designed to highlight all that is great about school caterers and the role they play in school kitchens. 

Jeanette, who previously completed her Food Production qualification with HIT Training, jumped at the chance to experience a day at The Grand. Talking about her experience, she said: “It was fantastic to meet with Craig and his team at the Grand, and to be able to see how a fine dining kitchen operates. I’ve learnt so much and am really excited to get back to my school kitchen and start putting these new ideas and techniques into practice. 

“I can’t thank HIT Training enough for organising the opportunity. After working in various areas of catering over the last 20 years I had the experience but not the qualifications so when the chance came up to do an apprenticeship with HIT Training I grabbed it with both hands – and the company is still supporting my career progression now!”

Craig Atchinson, Executive Head Chef at Grand Hotel and Spa, added: “Host a School Chef has given us the perfect opportunity to showcase how skills are transferable within different roles and different settings in the catering industry. Hopefully Jeanette has learnt skills she can transfer to her own job role, and we have learnt more about what roles, responsibilities and produce Jeanette uses on a daily basis. Our aim was to show her that great food isn’t complicated and the hard work goes into selecting the very best produce and cooking it simply with respect. If Jeanette takes these skills and introduces them into her school it will be a recipe for success.”

The Grand ensures that every diner – whether they’re hotel residents or visiting guests – is served only the very best of Yorkshire. The menu is seasonal, taking inspiration from the fruit, vegetables and herbs that are grown in the surrounding areas and all ingredients are sourced locally.

Find out more about the full range of qualifications we offer by clicking here.

Click here for all the photos from the day.

All photos courtesy of Jim Poyner Photography


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

We chose HIT as our training provider not only because of their specialist knowledge of the hospitality industry, but also because of their genuine passion for our brand and their understanding of our company culture. We believe that they can deliver our training to a very high standard whilst passing on our company ethos and values. Their attention to detail is second to none.

Charlotte Thoms, Talent Manager, Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group

There is a shortage of skilled chefs within in our industry at present and any organisation that truly believes in the value of training and development of bright future stars will enable themselves to be in a strong position for the years ahead. Investing in smart training and development is at the heart of what we do within WSH, so it has been refreshing to work alongside HIT within our Baxterstorey Chef Academy. 

Rik Razza - Head of Chef Development, BaxterStorey


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