If you’ve grown up watching Sanjeev Kapoor’s cooking shows, or have admired Amitabh Bachchan in Cheeni Kum, or more recently, fancied yourself as one of the participants on MasterChef, thinking you can deal with the pressure cooker situation with the celebrity chefs breathing down on your necks, then here’s a course for you.
BENGALURU: The concept of fine dining is invading the hospitality sector like never before. As the hospitality sector grows, those in the industry observe that food is a booming business which would grow manifold over the next decade. For tapping into this potential market, many educational institutions have begun offering courses in Culinary Arts. Usually combined with a degree in Hospitality Management, this niche course is seeing a steady increase in the number of takers. Add to it cooking-based television shows such as MasterChef Australia/US that have added a glam quotient to the profession.
So what does this trend mean for students, what does it take to be a successful chef and which are the institutes where these courses are available? Edex brings you a peek into the popular institutes in Karnataka to pursue Culinary Arts and suggestions from top chefs.
Elaborating on the number of opportunities opening up in the field, Priyanandan Reddy, secretary of AIMS Institutes in Peenya, Bengaluru says, “Star hotels in the city are flying down chefs from places like Italy as currently there aren’t many professionals here with the desired expertise to run their kitchens. This, of course, is not a sustainable option as it is pretty expensive and these visiting chefs often tend to discontinue. There is a lot of scope for trained chefs here.”
Donning a chef’s hat
Quite unlike the glamourous profession it is portrayed as on some television shows, being a chef requires a limitless passion for cooking in addition to patience, perseverance and hard work, experts opine. As Chef K Thirugnanasambanthan, Head of the Department of Culinary Arts in Manipal University explains, “It’s a real tough job. It requires passion on the belly. Anyone can cook. But whether or not you become a successful chef depends on the care and love you can put into your dish while cooking.”
Where to study?
Though there are numerous institutions offering short-term culinary courses, owing to the sector being nascent in the country, there are very few institutes offering the course in a structured manner. In Karnataka, once could look at the bachelors’ degree in Culinary Arts offered by Manipal University and the certificate programme in Italian cuisine at the AIMS Institute in Peenya, Bengaluru.
Manipal University is the only place in the state to offer a bachelors’ degree in the field. In a joint collaboration with the ITC Hotels, the university offers its culinary programme under the banner ‘Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration.’ Culinary Arts was made a separate department in 2011.
One can apply for this course after their class 12/Pre-University course and the university has its own selection process. The three-year comprehensive course, apart from focusing on different cuisines around the world and contemporary Indian cuisine, also gives students an orientation to food sociology and anthropology, food photography and food writing.
Chef K Thirugnanasambanthan explains that the course also mandates an 18-week internship and the top five per cent in the class even get travel assistance if they are keen on going abroad for internships.
The AIMS Institute offers a certification programme in Italian cuisine, preferably to be pursued after a degree in Hospitality Management. The course is especially suggested for chefs with some experience in the field who want to further hone their skills in Italian cuisine. For this course, the institute has a tie up with ALMA, the Italian Culinary School founded by celebrated chef Gualtiero Marchesi and offers programmes certified by the Italian government. This also means that students get opportunities for internships in Italy. At present, the course intake is limited to 10 students. Students are exposed to the geography of Italy along with its culture and history as part of the course.
Watch out for…
In spite of some institutes offering the course, Culinary Arts still remains a niche area. Hence, there are several arbitrary programmes offered by some educational institutions. Professionals in the field advise students to examine the credentials of the course before enrolling into one. “Culinary Arts courses at present largely remain unregulated and hence several of the institutions have no one to accredit them. Students need to be careful about such programmes,” cautions Priyanandan Reddy.
courses in other states
- ITM School of Culinary Arts, Mumbai
- Indian Institute of Hotel Management & Culinary Arts, Hyderabad
- International Institute of Culinary Arts, New Delhi
- Institute of Hotel Management, Aurangabad