Nestlé Professional® team up with rising culinary star in London school visit to change perception of industry and attract the next generation

Managing Director of Nestlé Professional Katya Simmons and 2023 Toque d’Or Back-of-house finalist Elycia Rayner, now Chef de Partie at Oxford University, inspire more than 600 year 9 and 10 pupils from Hazelwick School to choose a career in hospitality.

Getting back to the classroom, their visit was part of a collective push by four of the UK’s biggest hospitality powerhouses who are carrying out a series of school visits designed to change perceptions of the industry. Together with UKHospitality and Springboard, Nestlé Professional, Compass, Elior and Punch Pubs aim to breathe new life into the sector by inspiring the next generation of talent.

Mr. Salmon, Head of Year 9 at Hazelwick School, said: “The Year 9 students thoroughly enjoyed the presentation from Katya and Elycia. It was interesting to hear from two professionals who had completely different experiences of being employed in the hospitality industry and who are in different branches of the industry.

“One aspect that was extremely apt to hear was the importance of good people skills in terms of characteristics employers are seeking. This reinforces messages that Year 9 students have heard throughout the Dare 2 Dream Project- ‘people employ people’.

“A final aspect that was useful to hear was the variety of jobs that are available in the hospitality industry and how hospitality has links to almost every subject that students are studying for their GCSEs.”

Katya and Elycia are some of the first Choose Hospitality Pledge ambassadors to visit their local school and speak to Year 9 and 10 students about hospitality careers in two engaging and informative 1-hour sessions. Students got an introduction to hospitality and its various careers in an inspiring video, followed by a fun quiz where they were able to get a true sense of the industry’s many career pathways, fast progression rates and the competitive salaries on offer.

To learn more about the Choose Hospitality Pledge and join the industry-wide movement, visit: