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  • Writer's pictureLucy Atherton

Celebrity Chef at Somerset Larder

Michael Caines MBE in action


Celebrity Chef to Judge Bridgwater Apprentices

Regional catering company Somerset Larder is enlisting the help of Michelin starred chef Michael Caines MBE to find its next generation of chefs. The west country’s culinary celebrity is to judge an apprentice competition at the business’s Bridgwater kitchen and to offer advice on how to progress in the industry.

The chef will judge the apprentices’ meals at a “MasterChef” style event on 2nd December to coincide with the official opening of Somerset Larder’s central production kitchen, where all the food is made for Hinkley Point C’s catering facilities. It is currently being expanded in order to supply other local industries and outlets in the region.

Michael Caines, who owns and runs Lympstone Manor in Devon along with numerous other award winning establishments, has said he would like to see the food industry working together to provide better apprenticeships for young people, so has welcomed the opportunity to meet some burgeoning new talent.

Michael Caines said: “One of the most interesting things about the culinary world is that so many chefs begin their career with an apprenticeship, more than any other industry. My aim is to help nurture our region’s future generation of talented restaurateurs, chefs and waiters and for this you need to let them experience high quality cooking. I am pleased Somerset Larder is joining me in helping to drive young people to achieve excellence in hospitality.”

The Managing Director of Somerset Larder, Steve Braithwaite, said: “My big ambition for the business is to recruit more apprentices. The shortage of skilled personnel in the food and drink industry is a challenge we all face daily, so working closely with inspiring people like Michael will give our apprentices the opportunity to get a better understanding of the joys of career in food.

“Our ultimate aim is to make the west country a focus for food talent and to raise the standards and rewards for careers in hospitality. So we are thrilled to be forging links with someone who shares our goals.”

Somerset Larder currently has seven apprentices, qualified and trainees, who are eager to experience the chef’s expertise. Their refined winning meal will be served at Hinkley Point C billed as “inspired by Michael Caines MBE”.

Michael has long shown a desire to promote apprenticeships in the hospitality sector. He helped pioneer the Michael Caines Academy at Exeter College, widely considered to be the ‘Oxbridge’ of the culinary world, which aims to nurture the region's future generation of talented restaurateurs, chefs, restaurant managers, waiters and front of house staff.


Notes for editors:

For all media inquiries please contact 0778 6688833.

Interview requests for Michael Caines MBE please contact 07795 398 707.

One of the UK’s most celebrated and renowned chefs, Michael Caines MBE is the Chef Patron of Lympstone Manor in Exmouth, Devon. The holder of two Michelin stars for 18 consecutive years, and now one Michelin star at Lympstone Manor, Michael is known worldwide for his distinctive modern European cuisine utilising the very best local produce and ingredients. Michael appears regularly on Saturday Kitchen and has made numerous appearances on MasterChef, The Great British Menu and Sunday Brunch. He also runs operations in the Coach House Restaurant at Kentisbury Grange Hotel, near Barnstaple, Devon. Michael is also a partner and ambassador to the Williams Martini Racing Formula 1 racing team creating signature menus over the Grand Prix calendar.

Somerset Larder was formed in 2014 to help the region’s food and drink producers gain a foothold into the large contracts available during the building of the new power station near Bridgwater. It uses locally sourced ingredients, including meat from Pyne’s of Somerset, vegetables and fruit by Arthur David, dairy by Gundenham Dairy, bread by Mortimers Bakery, coffee by Clifton Coffee and baked goods by M.J. Baker.

The central production kitchen, based in North Petherton, where the majority of food is produced and then delivered to the site. From there, Somerset Larder caters for four restaurants, four coffee shops and numerous vending machines - feeding the 3,800 workers on site every day. It employs 135 people.


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