It’s hard to believe that it was 14 years ago that I started Fifteen restaurant and the Apprentice Programme.
It’s been one hell of a ride but it absolutely remains one of the things I am most proud of. It’s produced Michelin star chefs and continues to knock out amazing food day in, day out, year after year, thanks to the incredible team we have in place.
Now, as we approach the 15th year, I’ve decided it’s time to evolve. We’re going to take all the amazing insight we’ve gathered over the years and work to give more young people the opportunity to be part of this wonderful industry. When I opened Fifteen back in 2002 it was my very first restaurant. Now, I’ve got restaurants in towns and cities all over the UK, so it feels like the time is right to expand the Apprentice Programme out into the regions and across the whole country. Plans are already underway and my dream is that we’ll soon have at least one apprentice in every one of my restaurants in the UK, each of them learning from the core values and passion established at Fifteen.
In London, Fifteen will of course continue to function as the brilliant restaurant it is, and it will be business as usual. Profits will be ploughed into running the nationwide apprenticeship scheme.
Our 15th year feels like the perfect time to make this change for the better. Looking back I would never have believed when we started out that I’d be in the position to do this, and I’m really excited about what the future holds. Hopefully we’ll succeed in getting even more brilliant young chefs into our industry, an industry that desperately needs an injection of new, enthusiastic, bright talent. And that’s exactly why I set up Fifteen in the first place.
My personal goal is twofold, firstly to see Fifteen receive a Michelin star, which I believe it deserves, and secondly to go from graduating 15 students a year to 1,500 across the next 10 years, and I’d love to collaborate with other restaurant groups to make this dream a reality.