Listen up! Chefs’ Education is Changing

We’ve just written a book for chefs. It’s called The Chefs’ Knowledge. It contains everything a student or junior chef needs to get a great start in the world of restaurants, hotels, pubs and catering. It’s stuffed with advice and recipes that really give any chef a cutting edge.

But, that wasn’t enough. We wanted to go further following the revelation of how many chefs live with debilitating dyslexia which makes reading hard and sometimes impossible. That made us ask the important question: how can we best serve these chefs with the education they need? The answer: an audio version of The Chefs’ Knowledge.

How does that work, exactly? Well, we thought about that and realised we couldn’t just have someone read out the recipes as they were written. We needed to go further and create something that would be interesting and educational to listen to. The result was a unique set of 100 scenes that bring the recipes in the book to life.

Our editor Chandos Elletson created the scenes, set in imaginary kitchens but based on real life, so that students could get a feel for the sort of scenarios chefs might face when they enter the profession.

“It was important to reflect real kitchens and real issues,” Elletson told The Chefs’ Forum. “I realised that reading a recipe out wasn’t the way. I needed something that got at the essence of the recipe so that listeners could get a sense of why it was important to learn this particular recipe and get a sense of the techniques behind them.”

To achieve this we teamed up with the Arden School of Theatre at The Manchester College, where we also have a Chefs’ Forum Academy on the catering side. 3rd year acting students took the scripts and rehearsed them before we recorded them in the new state-of-the-art studio facilities on campus.

“The results are amazing,” Catherine Farinha, publisher of The Chefs Knowledge, said. “The actors were incredible, and we’ve created something new, exciting and different that will enhance The Chefs’ Knowledge and give anyone who struggles with dyslexia an added bonus.

“However, it will also act as another resource for our Chefs’ Forum Academies and another reason for Colleges to get behind what we’re doing which is effectively building a bridge between learning and industry.”

Not only did this exercise set out to benefit junior chefs, but it also gave valuable ‘live brief’ work experience to the students at UCEN.

Rachel Austin, Acting Lecturer and Audio Producer at the Arden School of Theatre managed the project brilliantly.  She cast the recipe scenes to her entire class of 3rd year BA Hons Acting students and guided them through recording and producing the audiobook, step by step.

“This has been a fantastic opportunity for my students to see the whole process of creating an audiobook from start to finish.  As actors, they may normally only see the finished scripts and not the work that goes into writing them.  The fact that we’ll be benefiting the hospitality and catering department within The Manchester College and in colleges across the UK, makes this work even more worthwhile.”

Please register your interest in purchasing a recording of the audiobook to accompany the printed version of The Chefs’ Knowledge by emailing