Chef Sudhakar N. Rao Director / Principal Culinary Academy of India
With Culinary Education emerging as one of the most sought after career option for the young generation of this nation its time that the Government, Educators and the professional bodies of the profession now think seriously about taking it to the next level to align the courses and the career to the international sustainable development goals. This is the need of the hour and will ensure that the present quality of culinary education is upgraded and strengthened to promote higher quality and long term learning and development opportunities.
Universities, Boards, Councils, and private players who are in the forefront of delivering culinary education have done their bit in the last two decades. Today the focus should be on the quality of education and the learning outcomes. This can be only achieved if the challenge is addressed at the initial level like the content of the curriculum, infrastructure required to deliver quality, well-trained chef instructors, enhancing the e-learning resources, and the last but not the least bringing in research-based approach into the syllabus. This can definitely help in the all-encompassing goal of achieving the delivery of quality culinary education in a sustainable way. Another approach to elevate learning is to address the quality of the present culinary education in the country to the other connected dimensions of the overall prevailing system. This will lead to practical hands-on skills to become transformative and the advantage for the students is enormous. The goal should be fostering quality and all education practitioners have to undergo a uniform orientation for achieving these goals.
Chef Educators and students should engage in a strong and purposeful learning experience which can result in opportunities and overall development beyond the academic curriculum. To achieve these positive outcomes in culinary education the role of chef educators and academic administrators should focus on creating a meaningful learning environment and learning opportunities. To develop this, the profession needs the help of the education bodies, professional organizations, right policies which can be achieved only by rebooting the learning process from time to time with the global changes taking place. Just nomenclatures, impractical and non-sustainable innovations cannot make a profession successful. The vision of India’s new culinary education system has to be designed to ensure that it touches all the aspects of the profession, should be consistent with the ability to contribute to the global demands on one side and keeping in tune with the growing developmental imperatives of this country. We need to revise and revamp all aspects of the culinary education structure, the delivery of the technically vibrant courses, and create a new system that is aligned with the inspirational global goals of culinary education.
Future Culinary Education system should be based on principles of ‘learning to know’ which means acquiring knowledge so as to benefit from the learning opportunities throughout the career. The focus should be more on learning the technical skills and also on the competence to deal with real-life situations, learning to work in teams, life skills that enable one to deal with the various challenges of the profession. The focus should be on developing an understanding of other people of the team and an appreciation of interdependence. Personality development should also be a vital aspect of the overall development of the individual for the industry where one can act independently, make decisions, and be personally responsible for decision making. Such an articulation of views in culinary education will lead to the holistic development of future chefs with more focus on the development of the artistic and creative potential of each individual.
As of now only the education boards and councils in India were involved in the framing of the curriculum. The role of professional bodies and associations is vital in shaping the future of culinary education. They are very important players in the profession and have access to professionals who hold the top positions of the culinary profession. They can give insights in framing curriculums and also define the actual present-day and future skill sets requirements of the profession. The recent and welcome development in India was the nodal body of the culinary profession - the Indian Federation of Culinary Associations has started the accreditation process of the Culinary Institutes like the American Culinary Federation. This will definitely help the profession as accreditation by a professional body is the best recognition an educational institution can have.
No profession is in a state of complete balance and they keep changing with times including the culinary profession. Apart from technical and artistic culinary skills, the major challenge in shaping the culinary education would be to include ‘Technology” into the curriculum so the students can learn to handle the latest technology at the institutes itself. Technology is bound to enter the culinary profession in all dimensions sooner or later. State of the art equipment which involves the programming of equipment, managing robots who may enter the professional kitchens soon, and understanding such advanced technologies and robotics is going to be a must in the curriculum.
The profile of a chef would change in the near future from just being a skilled individual who can use the knife to a full-fledged tech-savvy professional. Chefs would be soon defined as a professional with technical and traditional knife skills who is a multi-faceted individual and can handle technology, head businesses apart from being an artist with thorough knowledge of the worldwide cuisines. He can not only deliver traditional foods but can also innovate, discover, and redefine food.
This can be achieved only with the inclusion of the professional bodies related to the profession while framing the future the culinary curriculums. There should be strict norms to monitor the quality of the education being delivered by the culinary colleges. Quality has to be the norm and not quantity. Today we can college trying to admit hundreds of students per academic year and the education is being viewed as a commodity and not as an investment in the future generation of the nation.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
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Rajesh Gupta on September 17, 2020:
This article clarifies all doubts about Hotel Management Vs Culinary arts.
One must read this to know the differences and to take a right decision for career.
Very informative and useful article.
LevisJ on September 06, 2020:
Excellent! Brilliantly explained
RAVI REDDY on September 04, 2020:
A WONDERFUL INFORMATION ABOUT CULINARY ARTS AND CULINARY ARTS INSTITUTES.
Ankit Mathur on September 04, 2020:
The article is amazing..and it is actually need of hour...
Neelima A on September 04, 2020:
A very good detailed information about Culinary Arts education .
many people still dont know Culinary Arts,They think it is Hotel management courses.
Shiladitya Dutta on September 03, 2020:
Praiseworthy Writing Sir.
email@example.com on September 03, 2020:
Sir.....you have really hit the nail on the head. You have worked hard for the bifurcation of the hotel Management education in India into Hospitality & Culinary Arts. Now further consolidation of the Culinary education is the need of the hour and professionals bodies like IFCA can really play a big role in this.
Senior Chef Instructor
Culinary Academy of India