London badly needs to raise its game when it comes to culinary education and training. We hosted a webinar to launch our report calling for a new London College of Food.
Catch up on the discussion
About the event
While the city established a reputation as leading food city, attracting talented chefs and restauranteurs from around the world, its catering colleges and cooking schools suffered, like the vocational sector as a whole, from lack of funding, attention and ambition.
The combined challenges of coronavirus and Brexit only strengthens the case for improving culinary education. Restaurant, artisan, catering and street food businesses will need to up their offer, in terms of value for money, quality and sustainability, if they are going to attract customers back as we recover from the pandemic. But the effects of Brexit will make it much more difficult to take on workers from the EU.
This launch event discussed our report which makes the case for establishing a world beating College of Food in London, sets out how it might work in practice and explains why the idea needs investment now.
A College of Food could bring existing food courses in further education colleges under a recognised brand that is backed by world-class teaching standards, and accessible to Londoners from all walks of life. In this way, the College could have the creativity of a new institution, without the costs of starting one from scratch.
We explored questions including:
- Why do we need to reset food and hospitality training in London now?
- What skills should a new College of Food concentrate on and how should it work with employers?
- How could the College of Food help the recovery effort?
- How we can make the College of Food a reality and ensure it is set up in a fair and accessible way?
- Chair: Ben Rogers, Founding Director, Centre for London
- Mario Washington-Ihieme, Researcher, Centre for London
- Gary Hunter, Deputy Executive Principal, Westminster Kingsway College
- Asma Khan, Founder & Owner of Darjeeling Express
- Claire Pritchard, CEO, Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency and Chair of the London Food Board