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Mon, 11 Dec 2017

Northeast Today

Making a Career in Culinary Arts

Making a Career in Culinary Arts
December 01
15:04 2017

November Edition, Career, Vikas Kumar Verma

The belly rules the mind- so says a Spanish proverb. This means that when we are hungry or stressed, the only thing that can occupy our mind and mood is food! Even though food is needed for our survival, nowadays, however, exploring new and different delicacies has become a trending cult. Today, cooking has not just remained confined as a daily chore, but instead it has turned to be a full-fledged profession. Today, being a ‘Chef’ is a highly sort after profession and a large number of youths are constantly drawn into the profession.

A Chef’s Profile

Profile of a chef varies from position to position. While a junior guy gets to pick fresh vegetables, meat, and other cooking stuffs and help the senior chef (Commi chef).

An Executive Chef coordinates the work of the kitchen staff and directs the preparation of all meals. He determines serving sizes, plan and price menus and order food supplies and oversees the kitchen operations to ensure uniform quality and presentation of meals. Executive chefs prepare exclusive menu.

A kitchen hierarchy generally starts from a trainee/apprentice and goes on till one becomes a Commi chef. From there they become supervisor or half supervisor known as CDP/DCDP. After that a CDP becomes sous chef (sous chefs are those who manages a particular kitchen.) Every outlet has its own sous chefs who handle that kitchen. In big organisations, sous chefs are headed by executive sous chef and then the whole kitchen is headed by executive chef. While in small organizations sous chefs are directly headed by executive chef.

Where to Study

One of the pioneers in Hotel Managementcourses in India is IHMCT (Institute of Hotel Management Catering Technology & Applied Nutrition) owned and governed by the National Council for Hotel Management & Catering Technology.

Institute of Hotel Management Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition (IHM), Guwahati, is one the premier institutes of the Northeast. Here, one can opt for 3-year degree course in hospitality and hotel administration. Besides, the college also offers 1 ½ years Post Graduate Diploma course in Accommodation Operation & Management, 6 months Craftsmanship Certificate Course in Food & Beverage Service and 1 ½ years Craftsmanship Course in food production and patisserie. IHM also has its centres at Gangtok and Shillong.

Assam Institute of Hotel Management (AIHM) offers 1-year diploma course in hotel management, 3-year BBA in Hotel Management Catering Technology & Tourism and 2-year MBA in Hotel Management.

In India, leading hotel groups like Oberoi, Taj, and ITC have their own academies providing advanced courses in culinary arts.

The Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development (OCLD) offers a two-year post graduate management programme in Guest Service Management, Housekeeping Management and Kitchen Management. Institute of Hotel Management, (IHM) Aurangabad, a combined effort of Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces and Maulana Azad Educational Trust offers BA (Hons) Culinary Arts and Hotel management, while Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration offers 4-year course in Bachelor in Hotel Management (BHM) and Diploma in Hotel Management Catering Technology.

Eligibility Criteria

• One can join the hotel management courses right after completing Class 10 or 12 from any stream. However, the best time to join the courses is right after passing Class 12.

• One can opt for 1 ½- 2 years of craftsman course or 3 years diploma or degree in hotel management.

• Specially designed course for chef varies from 1 ½ year to 4 years. One can chose between any of them based on their suitability and kind of future they are looking for.

• One can also opt for 3 years or 4 years degree for chefs. In India, we generally have 3-year-diploma and degree courses for chefs.

A Chef’s Challenges

Even though, the job of a chef is quite exciting however to become a good chef a lot of things are required. One needs to have the right attitude because the kind of attitude one needs in the kitchen is quite different from other fields. Besides, as a chef, one has to devote much time to customers thus he or she might not get much time for families, friends. Further, to become a successful chef one has to be very much disciplined and punctual.

(The author is an Executive Chef at Radisson Blu Hotel, Guwahati. He has worked with various prestigious hotels and restaurants both in India and abroad.)

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