Food & Drink, Hospitality, London, News, Training

Moving Venue Announces Launch of Catering Academy to Train and Mentor Future Hospitality Stars

Experienced London-based venue caterer, Moving Venue, has revealed the launch of the Moving Venue Catering Academy as it aims to equip aspiring event professionals with the skills, knowledge, and hands-on experience they need to excel in the dynamic events industry.

Launching in September 2024 and running for six months, the inaugural Moving Venue Catering Academy will consist of six modules covering venue event catering, sales and marketing, planning, operations, provenance and product and kitchen and menu development. The course will culminate in a Spring/Summer menu showcase, where mentees will collaborate with their mentors, and peers, in an event to celebrate the completion of the course, demonstrating their acquired skills and highlighting the food that will be served at spring/summer 2025 events.

With four decades catering at London’s iconic venues and leading hospitality events, Moving Venue is committed to using its position of trust and leadership to shape the future of the events industry with this pioneering initiative. The training and accolade programme has been designed to not only develop the next generation of event professionals, but to support its venue partners. Moving Venue is currently accredited at over 40 of London’s best loved event venues including the Natural History Museum, Tower of London, Kensington Palace and Science Museum.

The programme includes workshops, menu development, competitions, and onsite experience across the Moving Venue accredited venue portfolio, all structured to build proficiency in event planning, execution, and management. By collaborating closely with venue partners, the academy will create unique opportunities for participants to learn directly in the field, gain invaluable insights, and develop professional networks.

The programme is open to venue event professionals within Moving Venue’s Accredited venue portfolio. The Moving Venue Catering Academy welcomes mentees who are either entry level within their career or venue executives looking to broaden their experience of event delivery and operations and grow their experience of the wider industry. Venue leaders will have the opportunity to nominate team members and will be required to submit a 250–500-word statement as to why their colleague should be considered. A total of ten aspiring venue event professionals will be selected to take part in the academy.

Academy mentors include Chloe Jackson and Ben Paris, Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director of Moving Venue, respectively, as well as Creative Marketing Director Abby Squire, Operations Director Lee Bushnell and Executive Pastry Chef Sarah Hartnett. Students will also have the opportunity to learn from industry veterans Jonathan Attwood, Moving Venue’s Creative Director with 32 years of experience, and Group Executive Chef David Ridgway who brings 40 years of experience to the programme. Collectively and along with the other mentors, of which there are 12 in total, they will dedicate a minimum of one day per month to nurture the students, with multiple opportunities to shadow Moving Venue professionals at a variety of events.

Upon completion, participants will possess the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully plan and execute a celebration finale marking Moving Venue’s 40th year as London’s most trusted caterer, along with the launch of the Spring/Summer 2025 menu.

Smart Group and Moving Venue Managing Director Chloe Jackson, said: “This feels like the culmination of 40 years at the sharp end of event catering, distilled into a unique programme designed entirely to support the next generation of talent for our vibrant industry.

“We are offering this programme without charge and to give back to the sector, and venue partners, that have been instrumental to the success of Moving Venue. We can’t wait to see the young professionals flourish under the guidance of their mentors and join the long list of talent that are now leaders in the industry having started their career journeys at Moving Venue.”

 

One of the first venues to sign up to the programme is the Science Museum.  Ben Lheureux, Head of Catering and Events, said: “We are delighted to be taking part in this programme and excited to be putting forward a team member for nomination. The events business at the Science Museum relies upon the passion, enthusiasm, and knowledge of our team, and we welcome the opportunity to build upon their skills via the academy.

“Moving Venue has been a trusted accredited supplier of the Science Museum for over 20 years and exclusive catering partner to our dedicated events space Illuminate for 5 years, and we look forward to making the most of that experience as we develop the careers of our employees.”

 

Lisa Hatswell, Managing Director of Unique Venues of London, added: “This is an exciting initiative that I am sure will add greatly to the sector. Having worked with London’s iconic venues for many years, I know the importance of having well-rounded, skilled and engaged team members that understand the work of major suppliers such as caterers.

“The Moving Venue Catering Academy will provide a fantastic platform to develop the next generation of talent, improving events for guests and operators alike.”

For more information on the Moving Venue Catering Academy or to apply, visit www.movingvenueacademy.com or contact academy@movingvenue.com

The London-based caterer, which celebrates its 40th year in business in 2024, was acquired by owner-operated hospitality business Smart Group, in 2015.

 

About Moving Venue:

From historic palaces, to museums, blank canvases and everywhere in between, Moving Venue can cater just about anywhere bringing 40 years of experience and knowledge along for the ride.

Moving Venue understands the quirks and idiosyncrasies of the places the team works and are always happy to share experiences, advising what is best for each event.

Moving Venue provides delicious seasonal dishes, lovingly produced by the team of talented chefs, at events planned by a team of event and foodie fanatics.

 

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