Cookery school for chefs with disabilities

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Stedychefs kitchen. Pic by © Stedychefs

StedyChefs kitchen. Pic by © StedyChefs

A Liverpool-based catering agency has set up a cookery school with the facilities to offer training courses for people with learning and physical disabilities.

Stephen Bygrave and Sean Ellis, who have over 30 years’ combined catering experience and met whilst working at the city’s Alma De Cuba, founded StedyChefs and have now set up the kitchen to educate people.

The cookery school, based in a unit on Dunnings Bridge Road in Aintree, has facilities to allow people with disabilities to learn basic cooking skills, food hygiene, and experience an insight into how the catering industry works.

Sean Ellis, director of StedyChefs, told JMU Journalism: “It’s all about life skills at the end of the day; they may well want to be able to cook at home for parents, so it’s just basic life skills.”

Courses run for a varied length of time, depending on the needs of the student and can range between small, attentive or year-long courses. Prices also vary depending on what the student requires.

YouTube: StedyChefs

Evidence in a report published by The Caroline Walker Trust, an organisation dedicated to improving public health, suggests that there is an urgent need for training in how to enable people with learning disabilities to eat well and to provide healthy eating choices for their families if they become more independent.

Stedychefs directors Sean Ellis (left) and Stephen Bygrave (right) at a food festival. Pic © Stedychefs

StedyChefs directors Sean Ellis (left) and Stephen Bygrave (right) at a food festival. Pic by © StedyChefs

The report said: “Many people with learning disabilities wish to acquire new skills or improve existing skills. This may be to enhance employment prospects, to allow them to lead more independent lives or because they enjoy learning purely for its own sake.

“Opportunities to learn also provide people with new experiences and the chance to meet new people and make new friends.”

StedyChefs will be able to pass on their expertise of the industry, train and evaluate students, and transition them into full-time work through the agency.

The courses will be open to people of all abilities and launches on Monday March 6th. StedyChefs is holding an open day on Friday March 3rd for prospective students to discover the facilities and for everyone to learn about the agency, while complimentary tea and canapés are on offer.

About Amelia Eccleson-Davies, JMU Journalism