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Give your culinary skills a professional touch


While everybody is aware of hotel management, but if you want to become a chef, or focus solely on the kitchen and its operations – it’s a course in culinary arts that you should be looking at.

In India, various colleges and institutes offer a three-year graduation degree or one-year diploma course in culinary arts. Primary among them are Mumbai University, Symbiosis School of Culinary Arts (Pune), International Institute of Culinary Arts (IICA) (Delhi) and DY Patil University (Mumbai). They aren’t cheap, with courses fee going up to Rs 3.5 lakh a year. Several of these institutes, especially the private ones, also have international collaborations. While GD Goenka University School of Hospitality, which offers a postgraduate diploma, has a partnership with France-headquartered Le Cordon Bleu, IICA has a tie-up with University College Birmingham for its graduation programme and its diploma certificates are accredited by Manipal City & Guilds, an India-UK joint venture.

The ‘culinary arts’ curriculum includes both theory and practicals, centered around cooking techniques for various cuisines, bakery, and patisserie, in addition to hygiene, nutritional value, presentation of foods.

Most of these courses also include a paid internship. The internship is usually for a period of four-six months with students being paid a small amount as a monthly stipend. “It is a rigorous programme that includes a 22-week-internship with one of the five-star hotels or leading restaurants where they are paid Rs 2,000-3,500 a month besides meals and transportation. Following the internship, students are usually hired by the hotels and offered at least Rs 20-25K,” says Dr YG Tharakan, Dean for Le Cordon Bleu School of Hospitality, India.

Why culinary arts?

“What makes these courses interesting is that these are not academic courses but inculcate vocational skills,” says Arjun Datta, Chief Operating Officer, IICA.

The stress is on a practical approach with in-depth training of everything from slicing, baking, roasting, poaching, stewing, and dressing the food, to familiarising students with serving equipment and methods across the world.

“I finished my diploma in 2013 and started my own bakery (Bon Gateau) in Amritsar since I always felt that there wasn’t any good bakery in Amritsar. Later I opened a small cafe and then a big cafe last year,” says 24-year-old Shreshth Khanna, an alumnus of IICA who specialises in making fondant cake.

Market demand

There has been remarkable growth in the food industry in the past few years. According to the National Restaurant Association of India’s (NRAI) India Food Services Report 2016, the total food services market today stands at Rs 309,110 crore, which is about 1.5 times the size of the telecom industry and about seven times the size of the hotel industry, says Prakul Kumar, Secretary General, NRAI. He adds that the industry is projected to grow by 10% every year to Rs 498,130 crore by 2021.

Colleges in India:

Mumbai University, Mumbai – BA in Culinary Arts

WelcomGroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration (constituent college of Manipal University) – BA Culinary Arts

International Institute of Culinary Arts, Delhi – Degree in Culinary Arts, Advance Diploma in Culinary Arts, Diploma in Culinary Arts

Symbiosis School of Culinary Arts, Pune – B.Sc in Culinary Arts

ITM Institute of Hotel Management, Mumbai – BA in International Culinary Arts

School of Hospitality and Tourism Studies, DY Patil University, Mumbai – B.Sc in Culinary Studies

Institute of Hotel Management, Aurangabad – BA (Honours) Culinary Arts

Culinary Academy of India, Hyderabad – Bachelor’s Degree in Catering Technology & Culinary Arts, Post Graduate Diploma in Culinary Arts

Le Cordon Bleu School of Hospitality (GD Goenka University), Gurgaon – Post Graduate Diploma in Culinary Arts Management

Colleges abroad:

Leiths School of Food and Wine, London

Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, Britain

Institute of Culinary Education, New York

Kendall College of Culinary Arts, Chicago

Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York

Source: DNA India

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