Careers Education

Cook up a storm

Zero-waste cooking   | Photo Credit: towfiqu ahamed

The hospitality industry has undergone an unprecedented transformation in the last few years, triggering an increased demand for specialised chefs and bakers. Today, a chef’s profession is one of the most sought-after careers for someone who is passionate about food and loves to cook.

In this interesting, rewarding and demanding profession, one gets to learn the art of preparing vegetables, meats, sweets, cakes and other delicacies. The chef is also responsible for preparing and measuring ingredients and plating the dishes. There was a time when Indian chefs had to look abroad for job opportunities and better prospects. But, with the growth of tourism in India, there are huge opportunities within the country whether it is in stand-alone restaurants, luxury hotels, bakeries or cafes.

Variety of courses

Those who want to succeed should opt for a degree or a formal course in a culinary school apart from serving an apprenticeship. There are plenty of programmes ranging from diplomas and associate degrees to Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees with the duration varying from one to four years. Though formal education is not a prerequisite, the specialised knowledge and skills learnt from these programmes will help hone kitchen work and stand aspiring chefs in good stead. These courses include signature culinary techniques, nutrition, pastry preparation, butchery, or knowledge of speciality and regional cuisines. Lesson plans include basic cooking, sanitation and safety practices, menu planning and nutrition, different meal components, including sauces, soups, meats, fish, pastas and grains, vegetables, salads, eggs and desserts. Several programmes provide information on establishing a catering business. There are also online programmes teach students to prepare everything from basic recipes to gourmet creations.

For culinary students, there is a wealth of knowledge to be tapped in India. While courses in India may have some way to go before they rival the best in Europe, many are already well recognised within Asia and offer a holistic education. So, if you want to exercise your creative skills in the kitchen, check out the courses available for one that provides both theoretical knowledge and practical guidance and get started on your journey to be a chef.

The writer is a Chef and the founder of the Academy of Pastry and Culinary Arts.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 12:14:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/myriad-job-opportunities-for-aspiring-chefs/article33200328.ece

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