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Top chef cooks up a new scheme

AWARD-winning chef Francesco Mazzei is backing a pioneering training scheme that gets disabled people into catering.

Francesco, owner of London’s L’Anima restaurant, presented 20 apprentices and trainees with their catering qualifications, gained through a specially created scheme run by Unity Kitchen, the social enterprise arm of the Camden Society.

Franceso said: “Catering and hospitality is a tough but rewarding life. And all the Unity apprentices and trainees should feel proud of their achievement in gaining their qualifications as a step along the road in their chosen careers.

“With the help of Unity Kitchen’s imaginative scheme many of them have battled against the odds to get these qualifications. They deserve every success that comes to them.”

Five of the seven graduating apprentices have already found jobs and are among 32 people with disabilities who have come through the apprenticeship scheme since it began in 2010.

Unity Kitchen opened its first of eight cafes in London in 1985 and has seen 128 students gain NVQ accredited qualifications in the last three years alone.

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