ICSA has been waiting to be born for a few years and it has taken us almost three years from the chat around tables, to finally have been able to bring this necessary organisation into being. I think probably all of the top cookery schools have recognised that we needed to have our own voice – a coming together of us all as a group to be able to make ourselves heard. We do sterling and inspirational work. Every one of the independent cookery schools is unique. I have always maintained that between all of us there is actually no competition because of the ability for each school to have differences. Our ‘competition’, if you like, comes from a different source. I doubt there is a school amongst our number who has not heard new students coming in complaining about having attended a ‘cookery school’ only to find that behind the magnificent website was nothing more than a cookery demonstration with plenty of alcohol. They come to us because they want to find what we have to offer, a good standard of cookery tuition and skills training.
But how can they tell what is behind a ‘cookery school’ website – and there are so many courses to choose from – sites which are dedicated to listing cookery courses . . . a maze which is hard to understand. Well, now there is ICSA – the kite-mark which stands for training and skills excellence. We hope you will use it, and all of the many benefits which comes with membership. Together we make the difference.
Stella West-Harling MBE