Friday, August 29, 2014 - 16:01

The Eden Project is looking for the next generation of top chefs as part of its biggest-ever apprenticeship recruitment drive.

Eden is working with Cornwall College and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s world-famous River Cottage to find its first-ever Rising Star, an aspiring young chef who will work at Eden and will become the public face of the project’s apprenticeship programme.

Budding Blumenthals or would-be Nigellas can apply by submitting a video of themselves making or talking about their favourite pasty, whether that’s a traditional Cornish variety or something more avant garde.

A panel of expert judges – including Eden’s head chef Tony Trenerry, River Cottage’s head chef Gill Meller and Cornwall College’s head of culinary arts Grant Mather – will then judge the entries. They will be looking for enthusiasm and passion for food and won’t be judging the video on its production values.

A video invite featuring Eden co-founder Sir Tim Smit and the judges can be viewed at

The best three applicants will be invited to take part in a cooking demonstration on Thursday September 18 at Eden as part of the Harvest season. The judges will then choose who will become Eden’s Rising Star.

Eden offers a wide variety of restaurants and cafes, from the fine dining experience of the Mediterranean Terrace to the hearty, tasty dishes in the Eden Kitchen. Special bespoke menus and “pop-up” kitchen venues are also devised for seasonal events, including the gourmet burger kitchen for this summer’s Dinosaurs Unleashed event and a tasty selection of global street food for the Eden Sessions summer gigs.

The team also cater for Eden’s one-off events, including weddings, conferences and awards ceremonies.

The new Rising Star will get the opportunity for paid work across Eden’s venues and during a variety of events and seasons, as well as studying towards a Professional Cookery Diploma Level 2 Apprenticeship qualification with Cornwall College. The placement lasts for two years and is open to 16-24 year olds.

Charlotte Russell, project manager of Eden’s apprenticeship scheme, said: “This is a great opportunity for an enthusiastic young chef to join Eden’s exciting catering team. Not only will they get to cook for thousands of people and work at one of the most high-profile tourist attractions in the world but they will finish the apprenticeship with a qualification that will give them a great foundation for their career.”

The Rising Star will be one of more than 20 apprentices recruited by Eden this year. The apprentices will learn an occupation through a combination of working at the project and taking part in off-the-job training and development delivered with Cornwall College.

The new apprenticeship scheme is being run in partnership with The Cornwall College Group. The programme will see the paid apprentices working across a range of different teams including horticulture, vehicle maintenance, hospitality, the visitor experience, media and creative design.

Eden has previously employed a number of apprentices but this will be the most recruited at a single time.

Eden’s apprenticeships will be full-time, for a period of up to two years. Apprentices will be paid and expected to work 40 hours a week, which will generally be four days a week at Eden or another local business and one day in off-the-job training.

The Eden Rising Star programme is part of a formal education programme that has been funded by a grant from the Edge Innovation and Development Fund.

The grant fund was established in the year of the tenth anniversary of the Edge Foundation, an independent education charity, to support innovation in technical, practical and vocational education.

The Eden Project has been awarded £82,000 to create a formal educational programme for the delivery of horticulture and food production located on the Eden site.  Working in partnership with Cornwall College Group and supported by the Cornwall Food Foundation, River Cottage and a number of renowned local food and horticulture sites, this project will offer students a balance of academic qualifications and real professional experience.

Those who are interested in becoming Eden’s Rising Star can apply by visiting The closing date for applications is midnight on Friday September 12, 2014.