First Wilson Vale chef completes management training scheme

Jitinder Joshi (known as Joe) has become Wilson Vale’s first chef to complete the Wilson Vale CraftWorks chef management training. The programme aims to develop chefs by giving them the managerial skills required to take on a chef management role.

Joshi is head chef/assistant manager at Belron International in Egham, Surrey where Wilson Vale provides a breakfast, lunch and a thriving hospitality service.

He completed his CraftWorks training in just nine months, diligently working through all ten modules and work-based assessments, covering everything from menu development to recruitment procedures.

No stranger to studying, Joe already holds a BA degree and a foundation degree from Thames Valley University in International Culinary Arts Management, completed after he had undertaken his NVQ Level 3 in Kitchen, Larder and Restaurant. Yet he still rates his Craftworks training as important to his career.

“What was really interesting about the programme was the insight I gained into Wilson Vale’s culture and the opportunity to meet more of my colleagues in a supportive learning environment,” he said.

“My previous studies and the various roles I have held have no doubt helped to strengthen my craft skills but the Craftworks training has developed my managerial skills, filling in several missing pieces of the jigsaw for me, such as knowledge of disciplinary and recruitment procedures and people management.”

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the training for Joshi was the ‘Train the trainer’ module which involved Joe mentoring and developing an apprentice in the Belron kitchen, Claudia Beltran Calderon.

Joshi said, “ Eventhough I was her mentor, I also gained so much from the experience. I learned the value of patience, of being a supportive presence and how important it is to be open and honest with people.”

Joshi’s career to date has seen him travel the world, working restaurant and hotel stages throughout the USA, the UK and in Dubai. He went on to work in contract catering roles, including relief chef at the Blue River Café, a head hospitality chef role at Wellington College and sous chef at Eton College.

He has also picked up many awards and accolades along away such as third place in the Escoffier Challenge in 2009 and several silver medals at Hotelympia.

His current role at Belron keeps him on his toes, working closely with his chef manager, Darren Sully, and the brigade of seven to provide a unique service to their client and customers.

Joshi’s passion for his work shines through. He said, “Huge thanks to my chef manager, Darren Sully, my operations manager, Adriano Elam and to Marion Speed, Wilson Vale’s HR and training manager, for all of their support and encouragement.

“I feel very fortunate to work for Wilson Vale. The fact that the directors are warm and welcoming and walk in here and call me by my name makes a big difference.

“I am also lucky to work with a client who appreciates our food and service. There is a great team of people on site and the relationship is close. Although it is a job, it’s like all of our customers are friends. I can honestly say that I look forward to coming into work every day.”