Being a chef is 180-degrees different from a regular 9 to 5 job. If you like to keep learning about the latest in your field, travel for work, design something new, and have a passion for reinvigorating food as art, then being a culinary artist is your calling.
It is customary for people to give a word of praise to the chef for a beautiful evening dinner or a delicious buffet laid out at a party. What makes a restaurant great is how a chef handles the kitchen with the resources made available to him/her.
“I want them to bite into a cookie, and think of me, and smile. Food is love. Food has power. I knew it in my mind, but now I know it in my heart.”
—Jael McHenry- Author & A Chef
Have you ever thought about what is required of you to make an excellent chef, a culinary artist?
Being a chef was never a limited job. The thought of standard and normalization always haunts creative minds. Being diverse and innovative is second nature to a chef. Along with hard work and a lot of study about food, the ingredients, food management, and various skills required to qualify as a trainee chef is a tough job.
Many may not realize it, but students cannot pursue the culinary arts industry without any job training. So the chefs ‘in making’ put in double efforts to study and build the necessary skills through exposure during their college program.
Importance of Learning Food Science:
When learning culinary arts, food science is one of the essential subjects studied. Molecular Gastronomy is a significant portion of this subject. It is a subdivision of food science that deals with the chemical & physical transformation in food when cooked. There are three parts of this study: the social, artistic, and technical components.
Therefore molecular cuisine is cooking that takes advantage of scientific discipline and technological innovations to bring out the best in modern cooking styles.
Educational Qualifications required to become a chef-
There is a two-year diploma or a four years culinary arts program. The Diploma in Culinary Arts & its program is different from a hotel management program. In a hotel management program, you will learn a lot more about handling various aspects of the hotel industry, managing guests, front office, managing the housekeeping, and even grooming. For becoming a chef, it is best to take up Professional Food Production courses, such as courses specializing in culinary arts.
However, many students in the Indian Hotel Industry would complete a four-year BSc in Hotel Management and then move forward with a specialized course in Professional Food Production. The system includes topics like nutrition, Culinary techniques, butchery, pastry preparation, and specialty preparation. As mentioned earlier, job training is a part of chef education; hence students learn under the chef’s guidance.
How does practical training help students?
1. Once graduated, students are not clueless about the know-how about the kitchen and the types of equipment.
2. They study and implement the protocol of the kitchen.
3. They learn to develop the right attitude and follow instructions from the senior chefs.
4. Study in food science helps junior chefs to understand how food preparation works on a chemical molecular level.
Specializations in culinary arts:
>Pastry Chef- Equivalent to an executive chef, they are in charge of the dessert section.
>Sauce Chef- Saute Chef is proficient and in order of preparing stew and sauces
>Poissonier (Fish Chef)- Incharge of all fish related cooking in the kitchen
>Entremetier ( Vegetable Chef)- Incharge of preparing and cooking vegetables, soups, starch, etc.
>Rotisseur ( Roast/ Meat Chef)- Responsible for cooking meat by roasting, broiling, braising, and other such methods.
>Garde Manger (Party Chef)- In charge of preparing cold food like salads, cold cuts, and dressing
>Fourier (Fry Chef)- They are responsible for preparing fried food items
>Grillardin ( Grill Chef)- They are in charge of preparing grilled meat & fish
>Butcher Chef ( Boucher)- Responsible for managing the meat by measuring cutting and storage of the same.
Career growth in Culinary Arts:
While working in a hospitality or restaurant setup, there is a hierarchy followed in the kitchen. Many different specialized chefs work together; however, based on the ranking, there is a reporting level.
1. At the top is the Chef-Owner- the highest corporate ranking for a chef.
2. Chef De Cuisine ( Executive Chef ) is the highest rank in the hotel setup.
3. Sous Chef – Chef working under the executive chefs
4. Chef De Partie – Station Chef
Moving ahead with a career in culinary arts is an excellent decision as it has many growth prospects. IBCA (Institute of Bakery and Culinary Arts) is one of the Best Culinary Schools in India situated in Delhi, India, that is accredited with City and Guilds (London), Tourism and Hospitality Skills Council, India (THSC) & National Skills Development Corporation, India (NSDC).
The institute was founded by Chef Balendra Singh, who has more than 20 years of experience in the industry and has helped develop some exceptional chefs from IBCA, Delhi. Students have received placements and investor funding for their startups with the knowledge gained while studying at the IBCA, Delhi, India.