Grande Cuisine Academy operates as a free virtual academy and training platform with the aim to give back to the hospitality industry by supporting students, lecturers and chefs
It’s designed to complement college courses and act as a supporting resource to help students excel even further with their practical culinary skillsets.
It was in 2019 that Grande Cuisine Academy initially launched its very own virtual academy. Their aim was simple; to give back to the hospitality industry by supporting lecturers, chefs and students with free online resources including instructional videos that everyone could access whether they were at college, at home or even working in the heat of the kitchen.
The academy work collaboratively with chef lecturers from around the UK to film their multitude of video tutorials, featuring skills that can be found on most culinary diplomas.
Steve Munkley is an ambassador of the academy and the Vice President of The Craft Guild of Chefs with over 40 years of culinary experience behind him.
He visited the college to deliver an inspirational talk to our eager-eyed students and host a Q&A session, enthralling the audience.
Additionally, Steve offered the top prize of a 1 year membership to The Craft Guild of Chefs and a brand new MAC knife for one lucky student chosen at random from everyone that signed up as a member to the free Grande Cuisine Academy during the session.
Steve also spoke to our students about his personal experience of working in the industry, giving an incredible insight into his journey and the immeasurable experiences that he has had.
After introducing himself, Steve said: “My last position was for 25 years working at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington and I had 60 cooks working for me, I had a budget of £1 million to spend on food and we cooked £17 million in revenue.
“What I’d like to do firstly is to enthuse you all into what my career consisted of. 44 years of absolutely the best job in the world and I don’t say that lightly. I at no point during that time wanted to change careers, I found what I was good at, I enjoyed it and I went through life really having a ball.”
Talking of his early working life which started at college, Steve commented: “I started when I was 16, going to college straight from school, I wasn’t very academically bright but once I got into college and started working with cuisine, my senses, my tastes, my smells, I found something that I was really good at.”
He then proceeded to detail his career and talk through the way that he found his own path, including the opportunity to work on the Queen Elizabeth 2, working on a world cruise for four months whilst travelling the globe.
Towards the end of his talk, Steve took the time to give our students some advice, striking up inspiration in them, by saying: “Find what your niche is in life, where you want to work, what you enjoy doing because there’s so much variety out there.
“To all of you, I say set yourselves goals in life, however big or small they are, always have a little bit of a goal so you know where you’re going. I wanted to be an executive chef by the time I was 30, that was my goal; I made it by 29 at the Hilton London Kensington.”