College celebrity cookery school business calls in the administrators

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A cookery school run by the Hadlow Group and celebrity chef Rosemary Shrager has closed, after the group’s two colleges went into administration.

A notice posted on the school’s website reveals it closed with effect from August.

It reads: “We regret to advise that owing to external financial pressures related to the well-publicised wider external issues at the Hadlow Group, the Rosemary Shrager Cookery School could not continue to operate in its present form, or in its existing location.

“The school has therefore closed.”

The Kent school ran cookery classes for members of the public, who will have to claim a refund for any courses they have paid for from their credit card company or wait for liquidators to send them a letter so they can make a claim as a creditor.

The school has been trading since 2016 and is the latest business to fall into trouble following the fallout from an FE Commissioner intervention at the two Hadlow Group colleges, Hadlow and West Kent and Ashford Colleges earlier this year.

The interim principal of the Hadlow Group, Graham Morley, said: “This has obviously been a difficult decision to take.

“However, the financial difficulties facing the cookery school have meant it could not continue to operate in its current form or in its existing location.

“We hope to continue to work with Rosemary and are currently in discussion with her, and other partners, to explore future initiatives.”

FE Commissioner Richard Atkins and his team found both colleges were running out of money and their boards had failed in their fiduciary duty.

After his intervention, and the appointment of Morley and new board chairs, Hadlow announced it would be selling its Betteshanger Parks business, with the aim to having a buyer in place by last month.

When asked about the sale earlier this week, a college spokesperson said that conversations “are continuing with the interested party but the sale has not yet been finalised”.

Shrager was contacted for comment.



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  1. This is sad after recently hearing that Jamie Oliver has closed his restaurant chains. There has been a shift in the market people opting for healthier options rather than aiming for tasty foods full of sugars, salts and other additional flavours not good for consumption which lead to some of the diet-related diseases which are on the increase in today’s society. Truth be told, a lot of cookery schools are suffering the same problem closing down because there’s nothing new they are doing and this includes vegetarian or vegan cookery schools although there is a large number of people going vegetarian or vegan. There is something missing in these cookery schools because cooking or preparing healthier meals is more than just cooking the right ingredients, whether they are organic or not. The last 10yrs in business, we have understood what is missing in cookery schools or kitchens at home and it’s not surprising seeing cookery schools closing down. We have come up with the latest in food preparation and new-age cooking which we have called Simba’s Foods. Please visit our website to see what we do on http://www.simbasfoods.com and let us have your thoughts.