The Chefs of Tomorrow project will see four chefs of junior sous level or below from four different venues take over the kitchens at participating restaurants to produce a one-off meal for diners.
Each chef will get a chance to source ingredients, speak to suppliers, create and cook a dish and then gain feedback as well as gain inspiration and insight from the head chef of the participating restaurant.
“I work with a lot of young chefs and many are curious and ambitious people. They might make a dish, or create a dish that makes it onto the specials menu, but it will be me who gets the credit. I wanted to change that so that they are getting the credit they deserve,” he told BigHospitality.
Doherty said he saw Chefs of Tomorrow as a triangle being made up of the chefs, the restaurant hosting them and their guests with benefits for all involved.
“It is not just about the chefs,” he said. “The restaurants have also got a chance to host something exciting on one of their quieter nights and guests will be able to eat food from up-and-coming chefs.
“It's like watching youth football, which I love – seeing who is coming through the ranks at my beloved West Ham. Chefs of Tomorrow is going to be a little like that. You may be eating the food of the Thomas Keller of tomorrow."
Doherty believes the scheme, which kicks off at Pizarro in London next Monday (16 February) will help give chefs experience and recognition within a more realistic framework, rather than furthering themselves through participating in competitions or appearing on TV programmes.
“When I started out I did competitions, but it’s a very intense environment and it doesn’t equip you with the skills you need to contact suppliers and speak to customers.
“Cooking shows on TV tend to focus on Michelin-starred restaurants and they do some amazing things, but they don’t give a thorough picture of the industry, so I’m hoping this will be a way of showing chefs what they can achieve.”
Chefs of Tomorrow will take place once every four weeks with events at Petersham Nurseries and Sam’s of Brighton planned.
The first event will feature Jonathan Hawthorne of Quay in Sydney, Alex Dome of Petersham Nurseries, London Lewis Sully of Duck & Waffle, London and Dani Molero of Pizarro, London.
Are you looking for a job in hospitality? Or perhaps for staff? Then take a look at our jobs website BigHospitalityJobs.