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In Focus: Chef As a Career

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Meenakshi Gaur:

If you are fascinated by the colorful sight and smell of exotic spices and flours in the kitchen then you might want to try the specialized art of Cooking.  It is all about techniques, ingredients, nutrition, recipes and flavors, and not some mumbo jumbo.

It is not an easy job to please each and every customer and to create the perfect dish every single time. True, perfection is gained through years of experience but passion for cooking and creating menus which consists of new and innovative dishes are the must have qualities in a Chef.

Cooking includes process of selecting foods and preparing meals. A Chef must continually pay attention to detail. Close attention is the key to perfection because cooking is a science. Every ingredient and measurement adds a specific taste to the dish.

In order to become a Chef you may want to consider working as an apprentice under several chefs in order to gain experience. It teaches some basic requirements; like how to use wide variety of kitchen equipments, ability to plan portion sizes and making bulk food purchases. Understanding the markers of quality to prepare the highest quality meal is vital for this profession. To seek out the finest ingredients and use the best techniques to deliver the best, depends a lot on instinct and intuition developed through rigorous training under the experts.

Attending a Culinary school or institute is a good option in order to pursue the yummy career of Chef. These institutes teach you to be a team player. A chef must understand that he/she is part of a larger food preparation team and that everyone must work harmoniously to ensure the timely production of quality food. Multitasking is taught in order to handle many tasks at once. A single chef might be responsible for several aspects of a meal. Many times a Chef needs good management skills as well ,in order to work well with kitchen staff and wait staff .Timely completion of all the meals, organizing the kitchen, determining serving sizes, planning menus, ordering supplies for food and supervising kitchen operations to make sure the food quality and presentation is consistent. All this knowledge has to be accompanied by strong Business sense. A chef has to run a kitchen daily which should produce both, quality food as well as cost-effective and efficient food.

After willingly working for long hours with determination to achieve perfection, a Chef must learn to handle criticism from customers. Not everyone will always like what a chef prepares.  The poor reviews should not be taken personally nor should be completely overlooked.

The various culinary institutes in India are:

The benefit of joining professional institutes is that many of them have campus placements. One is likely to command a higher remuneration and work with better industry brands. Once you become the part of this industry then sky is the limit. A chef can branch out into a variety of careers like restaurant management, related positions in hotels and clubs. After gathering sufficient experience, a chef can start his/ her own hotel or restaurant. It’s not about whether chefs are born or made, but you can make it as a chef, if you have it in you.

You must be to comment.
  1. satish

    Culinary Academy of India is the best college for Culinary education of Culinary arts.The faculty and infrastructure are of world class and this is the only institute in India which is recognised by P&O Cruises-UK,Princess Cruiselines-USA and Costa Cruiselines-Italy.Students passing out of this college are directly hired by these companies.Culinary academy of india is also affiliated to Osmania University and offering recognised courses since 1996

  2. Syed Abdul

    Culinary Academy of India is the only complete culinary school in India established in 1996 which is offering craft,bachelor and post-graduate levels of certification in the of Culinary Arts.Culinary academy of India has the rare distinction of Placing almost 2500 students in various Cruiseline companies in Europe and America.

  3. Ryan

    Culinary Academy is the leader and world’s 8th best Culinary School adjudged by Asian Correspondant.It’s new POST GRADUATE DIPLOMA IN CULINARY ARTS in association with Osmania University is well designed and upto date to meet the present and future demands of the Culinary Industry.Wishing the course and the students enrolling for PGDCA – ALL THE BEST

    Satish
    Alumni and a Welwisher of BRAND CAI

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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