THE LEELA PALACES HOTELS AND RESORTS REINFORCE ITS COMMITMENT TO FOSTERING EQUITY IN THE KITCHENS WITH THE EVOLUTION OF ‘SHEFS AT THE LEELA’ INTO A CULINARY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

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Shefs at The Leela culinary development programme
Shefs at The Leela culinary development programme

Celebrates The Launch with the 5th Edition of Shefs At The Leela At The Leela Palace Jaipur

HYDERABAD: The Leela Palaces, Hotels, and Resorts announced the launch of the ‘Shefs at The Leela’ Programme as a structured culinary development program 18mme for aspiring lady chefs. The program is not just a stepping stone to a job in the hospitality industry but a firm foundation for a career with The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts in the field of culinary arts.

On the proud occasion of International Women’s Day 2024, the ‘Shefs at The Leela’ program was unveiled at the 5th edition of the ‘Shefs at The Leela’ event that took place on the 8th and 9th March 2024 at The Leela Palace Jaipur. This 2-day event featured a grand gala dinner at Mohan Mahal, where a six-course menu was expertly curated by globally renowned women chefs – Chef Rasika Mythily Venkatesa, Chef Tashyaa Mehrotra, and Chef Tejasvi Chandela.

Since its inception in 2022, ‘Shefs at The Leela,’ an innovative platform celebrating women chefs in partnership with Dean With Us, has successfully hosted editions at The Leela Palaces in Bengaluru and Chennai, The Leela Ambience Gurugram, and The Leela Bhartiya City. This initiative was introduced to promote equity in the kitchens. The program provides opportunities for ladies who have studied hotel management or reputed culinary programs for a minimum period of one year. And aspire to work as chefs and women keen to see their entrepreneurial dreams come to life. Serving as a platform for women achievers in the culinary realm, “Shefs at The Leela”, aims to nurture ambitions, offering growth opportunities that help women fulfill their culinary aspirations.

Anuraag Bhatnagar, Chief Executive Officer of The Leela Palaces, Hotels, and Resorts said, “We at The Leela are committed to building an equitable work environment, that celebrates diversity and nurtures equity. ‘Shefs at The Leela’ was conceptualized as a platform that appreciates the achievements of women in hospitality and builds a community that will inspire, encourage, and nurture diversity in our kitchens. With this pioneering initiative and the overwhelming response it has received, we are now evolving this into a concrete and structured culinary development program that will not only solve a need for diverse and skilled talent within the kitchens but also create a springboard for aspiring women chefs to follow their passions and fulfill their aspirations to carve a niche for themselves within the industry.”

The Shefs at The Leela Programme certified by The Leela, is designed to provide an opportunity for aspirants to grow personally and professionally. The aspirants are groomed through a combination of academic study and comprehensive on-the-job training. The objective of the program is to develop the next generation of culinary experts in bakery and confectionary, continental, Indian, and oriental cuisines, who will continue to practice and nurture the organization’s people-focused approach to achieve service excellence.

In addition to the core curriculum, The Leela will organize quarterly ‘Shefs at The Leela’ events to cultivate a vibrant culinary community. These gatherings will encompass various activities, such as masterclasses led by industry experts, panel discussions with renowned chefs, and curated dinners prepared by celebrated women chefs. The events will also include the recognition of outstanding achievements through awards.

The 2-year ‘Shefs at The Leela’ Programme is structured into two phases, beginning in Quarter 3 of 2024. Freshers are eligible to join in Phase One, and depending on caliber, professionals can apply for Phase Two. The initial 12-month phase focuses on developing a foundation of culinary skills and knowledge. The subsequent 12-month phase is dedicated to building and advancing culinary skills and acumen, including shadowing executive chefs.

The applicants are selected through a trade test and a well-rounded evaluation process. The ‘Shefs at The Leela’ Programme offers several benefits, including certification by The Leela upon program completion. Graduates of the program receive priority consideration for internal transfers and career advancement. ‘Shefs at The Leela’ associates will serve as brand ambassadors of the program, attending ‘Shefs at The Leela’ events and initiatives as required.

Further, upon completing the ‘Shefs at The Leela’ Programme with a minimum tenure of employment, graduates will be awarded an incentive.

The mandate for The Leela Palaces, Hotels, and Resorts has been expanded to lead training and development interventions across all levels of the organization with a focus on improving gender diversity across all levels. The Leela Leadership Development Programme (LLDP), a 15-month program has been designed to equip associates in functions of Sales, Butlers, F&B, and Operations to strengthen their competencies and skills to take on higher positions of responsibility within the organization. Furthermore, female LLDP aspirants who were not selected in the final round are eligible to apply for Phase Two of the ‘Shefs at The Leela’ program.

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