Starting a new career as chef

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Joined Jun 21, 2004
My greetings to all my friends here and to the people behind the cheftalk.com website. I was lucky to come to know about this website by chance.
Since, my first visit last year, i never felt a great need for this site, but in the next year i would be starting my career in any hotel kitchen.

I am Pratish from India and presently in the final year of BSc ( Hospitality and Hotel Administration ), Institute Of Hotel Management Catering Technology And Applied Nutrition, Kolkata, India.

Last year i completed my Industrial Training of 6 Months from Hotel Hyatt Regency, Kolkata. Really a good learning experience.

I would like to work in the continental or the Bakery kitchens.

I request my friends here to inform me of any opportunity you come across that suits me. I will graduate in 2005 May.

I would be grateful if anyone could tell their cruiseline working experience and the positives and the negatives.


Hoping to hear from you.

pratish
[email protected]
 
1,908
274
Joined Oct 28, 1999
Pratish,
Welcome to ChefTalk. You certainly have an interesting perspective to offer to our little community. Can you share a little about your schooling; what are the classes like? Are there many people in the school?
Again, welcome aboard.
-Jim
 
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Joined Jun 21, 2004
Hi, Jim.

The college that i study in was started about 40 yrs ago in New Delhi. Since then there are all total 25 branched all over India. The college in managed by the central government of India, and falls under its Ministry Of Tourism.

I would like to give you an overall perspective.
Every year about 2200 students graduate from IHM,s ( Institute of hotel management ) all over India.
These students chose a career in the hotel industry. We are taught about all the 4 departments of a hotel Front Office, Food Production, F&B Service and Housekeeping.

I have personally selected Food Production for my career.
I plan to work in UK or USA so that i could get a good exposure to the continental food preparations. The continental food is getting popular in India.

In our college the classes are from 9 to 5 ( 5 days a week ).
There are 3 practical classes for kitchen and 2 for bakery. In the second half, we are taught the theory. The 1 st year is dedicated to continental dishes and and the basics which include sauces, soups, culinary terms, stocks, etc, etc. .. The 2 nd year is completely dedicated to the Indian cuisine and the 3 rd year is dedicated to advanced continental dishes as well as Chinese.

Our course is designed in such a way that all the students get a good exposure to most of the cuisines of the world.


pratish

i would be glad if you could tell me something about yourself.
 
1,908
274
Joined Oct 28, 1999
Pratish,
Sounds like a comprehensive program with quite a turn out.
It is interesting to hear that Continental cuisine is becoming popular. With our ever-evolving multicultural landscape, it only seems logical that food in every part of the world will start to blend together.
As for me, I write many of ChefTalk's educational pieces and book reviews. I got my start at the ripe, old age of 15 at a small fishing club on the Georgian Bay in Ontario, Canada. After several failed, ill-fated attempts at following through to study economics in New York and Pittsburgh, I reluctantly gave in to cooking. I worked in Santa Fe, New Mexico and migrated back east to settle, for now, along the shore of the Delaware River. Here, I have worked on opening a colonial restaurant, in various capacities in private catering outfits as well as some eclectic corporate chef details. I am now a High School Culinary Arts instructor and plan on staying in that capacity well beyond retirement age. I am the Café Administrator, overseeing the day-to-day dalliances here at ChefTalk and one of the forum moderators.
 
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Joined Jun 21, 2004
Mr Jim, nice to know you.

Since you have so many years of experience, i feel you could answer my questions.

What is the work culture like in the kitchens of 5 star hotels and what are the chances of a non usa resident to work there?

what is a colonial restaurant?

How different do you find the things taught in the college and in the actual kithchens?


pratish
 
1,908
274
Joined Oct 28, 1999
Pratish,
Well, I have never worked in a 5-star hotel. I would imagine it is like any other demanding restaurant - they will want professional performance, demand excellent products and expect 110% effort. As for somebody from outside the US working in a top-notch restaurant, I would think that would not be a problem. Often I think that larger operations look to expand their multicultural job pool for the benefit of their guests.

As for a colonial restaurant... The area in which I live was settled, at various points in time, by the Dutch, English and Swedish. It was also the landing spot for William Penn (significant historical figure in this area). As such, the restaurant I helped open was based on foods of those people at the times they settled here... or some reasonable facsimile.

Is college content different from what the 'real world?' Well, I think you should ask that question in one of the other forums... like "ChefTalk" or "Cooks Corner" so that you can get other peoples' input other than just mine. For what it is worth, though, I think the content of what is being taught does well to mirror what goes on in contemporary kitchens. But given the array of techniques, ingredients, equipment & styles, there will not really be a 100% accurate industry representation at the college level. I think most schools make a whole-hearted attempt at teaching students the fundamentals as well as job skills to ensure their future success.

Hope this helps! I look forward to hearing back from you as your career moves forward,
All the best,
Jim
 
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