Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall looking for his ‘rising star’ and 40 more apprentices

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage has begun looking for a new ‘Rising Star’, who will become the face of the Young Chef Apprenticeship Scheme.

The restaurant firm is looking for anyone aged between 16 and 19, who not only has culinary skills, that will be further developed through the apprenticeship itself, but has major aspirations within the hospitality sector. Group leaders hope that the ‘Rising Star’, who will work at the River Cottage HQ in Axminster for 12 months, will encourage other young people to take part in the scheme whilst they will also have the chance to adopt new skills along the way.

Chris Griffin, head of education at River Cottage, said: "The competition requires each willing entrant to upload a video to Youtube which demonstrates their love of food and ambition to become a chef. The eight videos with the most ‘likes’ and two River Cottage selected wildcards will go through to the live hang-outs with esteemed judges Gill Meller, Steven Lamb and Stef Smith.”

The apprenticeship scheme aims to teach young people about seasonality and food sustainability whilst also giving them chance to train for free in both restaurants and hotels in the south west of England. Even though the scheme used to take on 30 individuals, the apprenticeship will be looking to expand to 70 places this year.

Mr Griffin added: “The response we have had has been fantastic and clearly much greater in number than first expected. I am delighted to announce these additional places and an extension to apply.”

It is generally recommended that those already working in hospitality jobs or those who have a true dedication to the field should apply. For those wanting to become a future renowned chef, a short application form is the only thing in their way.

The River Cottage Group operates restaurants in Axminster, Bristol and Plymouth.

Berkeley Scott is a specialist recruitment agency providing chef recruitment solutions.