Accredited chef training at Silverspoon Academy
Renowned Keetmanshoop and Lüderitz hotelier, Tom Mutavdzic has harnessed his forty years of hospitality experience to start the Silver Spoon Hospitality Academy where chefs are trained to the international City & Guilds cooking standards.
Announcing and introducing the academy’s first intake of students, Mutavdzic said Silver Spoon is the first training institution offering the accredited and internationally recognized City & Guilds qualification in food preparation and culinary arts.
“Growth in the tourism sector ushers in employment and business opportunities for young Namibians,” said Mutavdzic, adding “But they must be trained and have the skills to face the challenges of operating in a demanding and service oriented industry.”
In addition to the United Kingdom City & Guilds certificate and diploma programmes, the academy has an established relationship with the Chef MLK School of Cooking in Johannesburg, founded by acclaimed executive chef, Martin Kobald.
At the launch earlier this week a beaming Mutavdzic introduced Terry Jenkinson and Michelle Fourie who are the two lead trainers at Silver Spoon. Mutavdzic stated that it was always his dream to assemble a top-class team and then start a hospitality training institution.
The first intake of four student chefs demonstrated their newly learned skills to colleagues in the hospitality industry and to other guests at the launch with a live cooking and presentation session. It was then the turn of the guests to enjoy the delectable delicacies, all prepared and served as uniquely Namibian treats.
Chief chef trainer Jenkinson said the City & Guilds programme starts at certificate and then progresses to diploma level. It requires 18 months of full-time study interspaced with work experience attachments and up to 12 students can be accommodated at a time.
“We also offer short programmes and refresher courses of six months’ duration,” added Jenkinson pointing out that this aspect of training is for employees in the hospitality sector who learned on the job but never had an opportunity to undergo formal culinary and food preparation training.
“So the programme does not conflict with but rather complements their work obligations. It provides the formal recognition required to progress in their jobs” he added. In thanking Emeritus Fishing and others who helped him realize his dream, Mutavdzic announced that Silver Spoon Hospitality Academy will, in collaboration with City & Guilds and the Chef MLK School of Cooking, progressively introduce other full-time and part-time courses. “Not merely culinary skills, but hospitality industry training in its broadest context,” he said.
Mutavdzic said the main focus of operations is to provide world-class training for Namibian students, but added that their recruitment strategy will later be extended to Angola, South Africa, Botswana and Zambia.