TAMIL NADU

Culinary arts are his forte

AFTER EDUCATION and training in the hospitality industry in the United Kingdom, he completed his teacher training and registered as a tutor, keen to share his knowledge with young people looking for a career in catering science.

For ten years he has also been running a school for orphaned children at Paramakudi in Ramanathapuram District and has helped poor women learn tailoring to support themselves.

Once a year during the annual holidays, he visits India and takes classes in catering science for students in Chennai, Salem, Erode, Namakkal and Kumbakonam. On a visit to Coimbatore to train students of SNR Sons College, S. Senthilingam, Director, Meera Social Service Centre Ltd., London, spoke to A. A. Michael Raj on several aspects of hotel management.

AFTER DEVELOPING a videodisc to help students learn the art and science of food production, he is now keen to produce similar videos on food and beverage management, housekeeping and hotel front office operations.

Changes

"I can see that students will benefit," Mr. Senthilingam said adding, "so this year I changed my system of teaching and tried interacting with students. They see a video presentation and then do a practical exercise. I tried it in Salem and the students did extremely well. What they need is encouragement and they will develop."

He said that he was currently introducing catering science at the London College of Management and Information Technology in the U.K. and had drawn up a syllabus that highlighted both theory and practical work. "If you can't make an omelette, you can't study hotel management," he observed.

"Catering science has changed and there are new techniques to be followed. We are now dealing with a multi cultural society and students need to learn how to make pastas and pizzas," he said.

U.K. visit

Though there were a large number of Indian restaurants in the United Kingdom, most of them offered more or less similar menus, with not much effort to innovate. Based on what he had seen during his visits, the food industry in India had developed a great deal compared to the United Kingdom.

Students needed to learn the basic principles of healthy eating and how to cook suitable food for those with heart ailments, abnormal blood pressure or diabetes. They also needed to collect documents certifying that they had attended add-on training courses in addition to their regular studies.

Mr. Senthilingam said that he believed in giving his students the responsibility to take turns in acting as supervisors in training kitchens where they were doing their courses. This helped them learn and develop very fast.

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