FOOD fans are being offered a career on a silver platter as a leading college teams up with a renowned hotel to train the next generation of chefs.

Darlington College is launching a catering academy with Swinton Park, the 21,000 acre estate of Lord and Lady Masham and one of North Yorkshire’s premier culinary jewels.

Three lucky candidates will be offered the chance to become apprentices at an establishment, at Masham between Ripon and Leyburn, which has just invested £8.5m in a new spa.

Featuring a 32 bed hotel, Swinton Estate boasts Samuel’s, a three rosette AA fine dining restaurant, The Terrace brasserie and Bivouac café.

It has also run a catering school for many years and has now linked up with Darlington College to deliver a full-blown apprenticeship scheme with tutors assisting and assessing candidates and organising master classes to enrich their studies.

The pilot project will be launched formally on September 9 at Swinton Park when anyone interested can inspect the facilities on pre-booked tours from 10am to 12pm and 12.30pm to 2.30pm. It is open to all ages from 16.

Darlington College marketing manager Claire Turner said: “This is a rare opportunity for anyone with a passion for food.

“The apprenticeship is designed to cater for all abilities, from food preparation to high-end cuisine, giving them the chance to work on the full range of catering, from events such as weddings, to breakfasts in the hotel and a-la-carte in the restaurant. It isn’t just for young people either but would suit anyone who has ever wanted to work in the diverse world of catering.”

Swinton Park chef developer Kevin Hughes said: “The industry is crying out for chefs globally and there is no better place to train than with Darlington College and Swinton Park.

“As a chef it provides a unique environment to hone your craft, in a beautiful Yorkshire Dales setting, with some very talented professionals.”

If the pilot is successful it could be extended to people interested in beauty therapy who would craft their skills in the new spa with the college’s help.

Anyone interested in the catering apprenticeship should book a place by emailing