Founded in 1980, the Academy of Culinary Arts, is Britain’s leading professional association of Head Chefs, Pastry Chefs, Restaurant Managers and suppliers.
While concerned with raising standards and awareness of food, food provenance, cooking and service, its objectives are equally focused on the new generation of young industry people through its education and training programmes and the provision of career opportunities.
The Academy’s objectives are achieved through a number of initiatives and projects:
- Chefs Adopt A School
The Chefs Adopt A School project, which began in 1990 teaches school children all about food, food provenance and cookery through taste sessions delivered by Academicians. Chefs Adopt A School has the potential to influence a new generation of food lovers and home cooks, which is where the impact of understanding food and its origins is aimed, and where the importance of nutrition, health and cooking is strongest. On the 16th July 2001, the Academy of Culinary Arts ‘Adopt A School’ Trust was officially registered as Charity No. 1087567.
- The Specialised Chefs’
This is a three year vocational course for young apprentices aged between 16 and 19 years old. As part of the course the apprentices are employed by Academicians who mentor them throughout their training. The first course, run in conjunction with Bournemouth and Poole College, is a three year block release programme and has been running since 1989. The second course is a four year day release programme and has been running since 1994 with Thames Valley University.
- The Annual Awards of Excellence
The Annual Awards of Excellence began as the Commis Chef of the Year competition in 1983. The aim of the awards is to recognise and reward the talents and ambition of young chefs, pastry chefs and waiters between the ages of 20 and 26.
- The Master of Culinary Arts
Launched in 1987 as the Meilleur Ouvrier de Grande Bretagne (MOGB), the Master of Culinary Arts is held every four years and rewards ability and achievement of the highest degree in culinary skills, hotel pastry and restaurant management to those over the age of 26
- The Mutton Renaissance
The Mutton Renaissance, conceived in 2003 by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and officially launched in November 2004, is our campaign to put mutton back on to the menu and to link farmers, abattoirs, butchers and chefs in the process. The campaign is jointly run with the National Sheep Association.
- FEAST (Food Education At School Today)
One of the Academy’s long term aims is to restore food and cooking to the school curriculum starting with children at 5 years old.