From New York to Roeselare!
A glance into the open kitchen at Boury reveals that each dish passes through many hands. If you ask to step into the kitchen, you will undoubtedly notice that these hands make up a very diverse team. Jamaica, the US, Taiwan, India, Romania, Slovenia... many countries are represented. You practically get the feeling of walking into the athletes' village during the Olympics.
"How do you find these people?" people sometimes ask. Well, we don't do that; they usually find us. Via the Boury Academy;
The 'Boury Academy' is a unique traineeship program designed to give talented young people a taste of what Boury has to offer behind the scenes. The traineeships are organized for young people who have yet to graduate and chefs who are taking a time-out from their jobs and gaining additional experience with us.
Tommy, Matic, Jack, Dick, Ashley en Amit . January - March 2022
Boury Academy was established in 2018, and we have already welcomed young people from over more than 30 countries ever since. Undoubtedly the most vital point of the program is that the young people are included in the team from day 1. They join the pass, help plate with Tim, and receive intensive guidance from a chef de partie.
The students live in one of the two staff houses, together with other team members. You can compare it with a student dormitory: each one has his own room, they cook together on the weekends, and above all, they have a lot of fun. Most of them are far from home and only for the first time in Belgium or Europe. Each week the trainees get three days off, and then they travel a lot. Paris and Amsterdam are the favorites, but trips to Spain and London are also popular.
We get applications from all over the world and take the time to talk to each of these people, often through an online meeting. Based on this, a decision is made on whether the candidate qualifies for the internship. Sometimes, that might be arbitrary; an excellent CV and smooth talk do not say everything, so talented young people undoubtedly miss their chance. A great pity, of course. That is why we are starting a pilot project in which a former Indian employee will evaluate candidates from that region.
The kitchen team is now a melting pot of languages, colors, and cultures. A significant enrichment for our team because cross-fertilization is apparent. Each student brings something to the table: sometimes unfamiliar products, sometimes slightly different preparations. But also new 'best practices that make us reflect on our own habits and mechanisms.
The internship is not an easy period for the student. The workload is quite heavy, and the rhythm is always a bit of a shock. In addition, the bar is as high for them as for the rest of the team.
However, the format does give the student a chance to grow as a chef and bridges the gap between the school environment and the hectic pace of a gourmet kitchen. The letter of recommendation that follows a successful internship also helps them take a conscious next step in their careers.
At some point, each chef from any starred restaurant was given a unique opportunity that they seized with both hands. This is why they are where they are today and do what they do.
With the Boury Academy, we hope to offer such an opportunity as well.