The Sodexo Live! Academy with Raymond Blanc was launched in February 2022, with an aim to discover, foster, and launch the next generation of chefs from the greater London area into rewarding careers in the kitchen

The Academy is a structured culinary programme that gives six apprentices the chance to achieve either a Commis Chef Level 2 or Level 3 Chef de Partie qualification. Upon completion of the Academy, they will then be eligible for permanent culinary roles within Sodexo Live!.

The Academy provides apprentices with opportunities to take part in major events - such as the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and Royal Ascot - as well as rotation around four London venues including the Royal Academy of Arts, the Wallace Collection, RAF Museum at Hendon, and Sodexo Live!’s own river cruise dining experience, Bateaux London. They will also have access to a mentor on-site and the assistance of the Sodexo early careers team for additional support throughout.  

Topics to be studied include plant-based eating, patisserie, game and offal, food safety and menu planning. The programme also involves a two-month stage placement at Blanc’s acclaimed hotel and restaurant in Oxfordshire, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, a Belmond Hotel, to develop their skills in fine dining.  

No two days will be the same at the Academy, with duties including mise en place preparation for service, plating and food presentation, and reducing wastage within the kitchen, with sustainability being a key initiative. 

In partnership with Raymond Blanc

"I’m delighted to work in partnership with Sodexo Live! to launch the Academy. Our programme has been designed to give apprentices a unique and enriched development experience, which will hopefully take their careers to extraordinary places. The apprentices will be able to explore not only how a Michelin star restaurant works but also how to hone their fine dining and event skills with guidance from myself."


Raymond Blanc

Raymond Blanc

Our apprentices visit Le Manoir

The apprentices visited Raymond Blanc's restaurant, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxfordshire to find out more about what they will be learning and who'll they be working with when they undertake their two-month placement there as part of their apprenticeship programme. They also got to meet Raymond himself. Find out how they got on. 

Meet our first apprentices

To support the recruitment process, a welcome day was held in July, at which the apprentices and their parents met executive chefs and mentors from Sodexo Live!

The event was hosted at Bateaux London, the company's river cruise dining experience. Here, they discussed their favourite foods, their reasons and drivers for wanting to become chefs, and their future goals. 

The six new apprentices meet Sodexo Live! executive chefs Emeline Gibert and Alessandro Soro and their chef training team from the top provider of catering and hospitality training and apprenticeships, HIT Training.

Read the press release