St Austell, the Cornish brewer and pub operator, is planning to build a development kitchen on site next year as it looks to ramp up its food offer, writes Lesley Foottit. It would serve to train chefs from the company’s managed sites as well as providing a structured way for tenants from wet-led sites to be initiated into food service. Catering development manager Nick Hemming, who joined from Punch earlier this year, envisions a centre aisle kitchen with six stations, a walk-in fridge and a pass at the front with tilting mirrors so people can see what is being done. He sees groups of up to 12 being taught at one time. As well as offering a place for managed site chefs to practice and share ideas, it will be open for tenants to learn simple dishes based on the top 10, such as fish and chips, pie and steak, as a paid-for service. Dishes will be taught as a premium offer. Aspiring food service staff will also be taught cost exercises, how to work out margins and marketing ideas. The package complete with instructions and photographs to show presentation will be ready by the end of the year. “It will be really useful for training and an easy entry into food for tenanted wet-led pubs,” said Hemming. “At the moment we have to rely on the pub kitchens for training and can get in the way as well as there being problems of finding places in the area to stay or rent. “We want to get grants and as much sponsorship behind it as possible from the likes of catering equipment companies. It is in the budget for next year. If we can get the board to give us the capital then we can press forward. “The development kitchen will play a big part in getting the message out there that we are exciting and doing fresh local food with autonomy for chefs.” The kitchen will also sell courses to organisations in Cornwall, such as butchery workshops.