Food + Drink


Goodwood has doubled the intake of its 2017 Chef Academy programme, now in its fourth year, in response to growing demand within the Estate’s diverse food businesses.

Abi Gaynor and David Whiteside started on July 3, 2017, and will spend two years working across the Estate’s four restaurants and in the kitchens at Goodwood House, catering for corporate events, weddings and balls.

The apprentices also spend time working on Goodwood’s 3,400-acre organic farm, getting a greater understanding of the award-winning meat, cheeses and lager that are produced on the Estate.

The Goodwood Chef Academy was launched in 2014 to address the talent gap within the sector.


Mark Forman, executive chef at the Goodwood Hotel, explains: “There is a national shortage of chefs and the industry is in crisis, therefore we can’t sit back and do nothing about it. Students are entering the profession but it’s a struggle to get commitment. Largely because they have unrealistic expectations of what the job involves and what it takes to achieve promotion. The Goodwood Academy aims to encourage the progression and development of chefs within the Estate, giving the chefs a true understanding of kitchen life and a chance to work with very different styles of food. Our hope is that this will help us operate more effectively as a business, but also to pride ourselves in developing great chefs for the industry.”

With the scheme in full swing, Goodwood now has a chef operating at each level of the programme. Sam Rawlings, the first apprentice to join the scheme, has been employed by Goodwood on a permanent basis and has just been promoted to the position of Demi Chef De Partie at Farmer, Butcher, Chef – Goodwood’s recently opened and highly successful sustainable restaurant.

She says: “It has been fascinating seeing how the food we produce on the farm ends up on tables across the Estate. I am working with incredibly talented people in a beautiful place, deep in the Sussex countryside. It really is a very special place to work,” she says.

Goodwood works alongside Chichester College to help with recruitment and the plan is linked to an accredited apprenticeship in Professional Cookery (Level 2).

To enter the programme, candidates partake in interviews and cook offs to showcase their gastronomic skills. The successful applicant is invited to work at Goodwood on the 2-year programme with the end goal of potentially being offered a position within one of the restaurants across the Estate.

As one of the world’s biggest luxury experience companies, Goodwood is becoming increasingly famous for food and as such it is the perfect platform to help grow and encourage young chefs. Goodwood’s restaurants include The Kennels private members club, Farmer, Butcher, Chef, The Bar & Grill and The Old Control Tower Café.

For all recruitment and careers enquiries please contact Goodwood on 01243 755000 or email

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