Wiltshire brewers open cookery school

Family run brewers Wadworth have launched their own cookery school in a effort to improve the standard of food across its entire business. The new ten-station facility has been built behind the visitor complex at the Wadworth brewery in Devizes, Wiltshire.

Cookery courses will be offered to chefs and other kitchen staff that work in any of the brewery’s 248 pubs (204 tenanted and 44 managed). Scott Ferguson, Wadworth’s catering development manager, will be responsible the day to day operations of the cookery school. He explained that the school’s overall objective is to improve the confidence of staff. Ferguson believes that many of the chefs that work in pubs feel isolated and that offering them the chance to meet up and discuss common issues will be really helpful.

The brewery also intends to open the facilities to members of the public, offering cooking courses and corporate team building events. Ferguson believes that cookery is a fantastic way of bringing people together. Wadworth’s sales and marketing director, Paul Sullivan explained that a number of their pubs could improve the standard of their food. Food is a key factor in the success of modern day pubs and Sullivan believes that it is as important as other factors such as a great atmosphere, quality drinks and great customer service.

The cookery school has cost more £100k to set up, but Sullivan is confident that it will prove a valuable investment. Sullivan claims that the brewery needs to aim high and aim to raise the quality of food in all of its pubs. He believes that whilst a number of pubs already offer excellent food, there are also a number that could improve. Wadworth is focusing on their pubs as opposed to offering specific training to the chefs. The plan is to develop knowledge of cookery and food across the business at all levels.

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