HRH The Princess Royal visits Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage
River Cottage, of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall fame, welcomed HRH The Princess Royal as an honoured guest this week.
The Princess Royal, President of the City and Guilds of London Institute, visited River Cottage HQ to meet the apprentices being trained by Lead Chef Tutor Gary Richmond. Gary was awarded the City and Guilds of London Institute’s Prince Philip Medal, presented by The Princess Royal at St James’s Palace in May 2015 for his outstanding professional achievements.
The Prince Philip Medal is the highest recognition that the City and Guilds of London Institute offers. This was awarded to Gary in honour of his skills as a chef and his commitment to helping the next generation of talent. The Medal has been given for more than 50 years, and honours those who, in The Duke of Edinburgh’s own words, have ‘travelled the City & Guilds path’ and made the most of their talents.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, founder of River Cottage, said:
‘Gary Richmond is a brilliant chef and an inspiring teacher. I’m absolutely delighted that his hard work and outstanding professional achievements have been recognised with the City and Guilds Prince Philip Medal.
‘We are thrilled to welcome The Princess Royal to River Cottage to see Gary in action and to witness the work of the entire Chefs’ School team at first hand.’
During the visit, The Princess Royal toured Park Farm – which is a working organic smallholding and also the training base for River Cottage Apprentices – in the company of River Cottage founder, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Chief Executive of the City & Guilds Group, Chris Jones.
As well as observing, at close-hand, the students learning different skills and techniques, she chatted to apprentices and members of the River Cottage team.
HRH The Princess Royal had the opportunity to learn about River Cottage’s celebrated apprenticeship schemes, which aim to instil the values in a new generation of young professionals. She also observed a group of apprentices making a Devon cream tea for the guests, and watched Gary Richmond performing a butchery demonstration to some of the current Level 2 apprentices.
Following this, The Princess Royal presented three apprentices with their Level 2 City & Guilds qualification certificates.
Gary Richmond said:
‘I felt incredibly proud and honoured to receive such a prestigious award and it has been a real privilege to welcome The Princess Royal to the farm to meet with the apprentices and watch them develop their skills. Being a chef is not just a job it is a passion; the buzz for me now is training chefs of the future and watching them succeed in the industry.’
River Cottage offers a selection of apprenticeships including Professional Cookery at Level 2 and Level 3 and Food and Beverage Service at Level 2.
These apprenticeships are available to anybody and River Cottage prides themselves on teaching and equipping learners with the skills they need to excel. They believe that by providing learning and job opportunities for those starting out in the industry, it not only creates a highly-skilled team within River Cottage but also within numerous businesses throughout the South-West.