Top chef Paul Ainsworth says he has been ‘blown away’ by the success of his academy he launched in partnership with Truro and Penwith College.

The academy is helping students enter full-time careers in the hospitality industry.

Ten have now graduated into full-time employees, in variety of positions, throughout the Ainsworth Collection.

His first student, Liv, set the tone as at the age of 17 she progressed to fully running a section at his Michelin Star restaurant No 6. 

Paul thought he may have just got lucky with Liv.

“I don’t know what I was expecting after Liv, but I did not expect the quality of apprentices which quickly followed,” Paul said. 

There have been too many success stories for Paul to mention them all by name, but he added: “Loren is now an assistant sommelier at No 6 and has worked with me for four years, throughout the collection.”

Loren started out on the Level 2 food and beverage course at Truro College before progressing to the hospitality team member apprenticeship with the Ainsworth Academy. 

Another name Paul highlights is Issy’s.

“Issy’s journey blows my mind on how quickly she has got herself into an amazing position as senior sous chef at Café Rojano, managing daily operations,” he beamed.

Issy’s journey started with Level 1 professional cookery at Truro College and quickly decided to progress to the L2 commis chef apprenticeship. 

Speaking about her rapid rise in the industry, Issy said: “The combination of learning skills in the classroom and working in the industry gives you a great understanding of the job you are hoping to secure full-time. We all work across the Ainsworth Collection too, so you get to see the entire range of distinctive styles.”

Recently awarded The AA Chef of the Year 2023, Paul, is one of the best known, respected chefs in the industry; to put his name to the academy means he must be confident in his apprentices. 

When asked what he looks for in an applicant, Paul did not hesitate in his response: “There is one single ingredient I look for when appointing an apprentice and that is commitment.”

Paul makes it clear that an apprenticeship is the start of the learning process.

“We don’t expect you to have the professional skills,” he said. “It’s our job to pass that knowledge on to you, the correct working practices, techniques, dishes, recipes. All I need to see is someone who is committed.”

Paul is keen to support more students into full-time careers. 

“I love seeing how these students progress and how their journeys develop,” he said proudly.