Docklands Academy London first opened in 2011. The college’s primary ethos have been to create an environment in which a person can gain a quality and comprehensive professional education while gaining practical experience or working.
Docklands Academy London is based on the vision of Onder Sahan, one of the college’s founding partners. Onder first came to London as a student in the early 1990s and worked hard to balance his studies with his work life.
He went on to open his first restaurant in Waterloo, and later became a pioneer of the “Traditional Anatolian Cuisine” concept in the UK by promoting the various dishes that Turkey has to offer including kebabs, stews, meze and even little-known vegetarian options through upmarket restaurants.
Having never lost his passion for working in the kitchen and giving customers a high-end experience, Onder has since opened fine dining restaurants next to theatres and museums such as The British Museum, The Old Vic, Young Vic and Shakespeare’s Globe theatres as a part of this concept
For Onder, hard work, practical experience and most importantly, a quality education have been critical to his success. It is for these reasons that he values education so highly and has invested heavily in it without any thoughts about making material returns.
The varied programme of courses available at Docklands Academy London embodies Onder’s vision by laying the building blocks for students not only to learn exemplary culinary skills if they choose, but also how to provide outstanding service, hospitality and presentation.
A go-to for many international students, vocational English is at the heart of many of the college’s courses. The academy is now planning to open a new Gastronomy and Culinary Arts course which integrates English language learning with cooking theory and practice including Knife Skills training and an accredited Food Safety course. The course is usually expected to last 12-weeks but the college can also offer bespoke timings for students with specific schedule requirements.
Students should graduate with the ability to prepare and serve an impressive three course meal along with various other dishes. The college is optimistic that this new programme will encourage students to go on and introduce upmarket and high-class restaurant concepts of their own in the future At Docklands students also have the opportunity to gain valuable first-hand experience both in the field and in the classroom. The Academy can guarantee work experience at its partner restaurants for students. This presents a chance for students learning English at the college to have total immersion language practice while working, some go to work at a restaurant in the afternoon after their morning English lessons, an ideal opportunity to build confidence by conversing with customers. This confidence-building also continues in the classroom with other activities such as presentations, role plays, group and pair work.
Staff also say that Docklands’ holistic educational approach and supportive and nurturing environment sets the college apart from others. The academy prides itself on the fact that its teachers are available to offer plenty of friendly support for students while maintaining professional boundaries and achieving outstanding results.
Since its foundation, the Academy has won international acclaim as a member of the European Association of Hotel and Tourism Schools (AEHT). The Association has around 400 members and hosts conferences and competitions on hospitality, gastronomy, travel and tourism around Europe every autumn which the Academy proudly represents the UK.