To have an ambition in life is to be able to do something that we love most. Many people take up careers in their life and as long as the going is good, they survive. But then what happens when something goes wrong, they crumble faster than a pack of cards. In our generation today, students aim to be doctors and lawyers, air hostesses and pilots. It’s the glamour that they reach out for and the wonderful places that they may travel. However, not many of us who visits restaurants and eating houses stop to compliment the chef or to even think about the hard work that has gone into making that delicious meal that we so gracefully relish. We take the meal for granted and believe that it has to be the best, or else the Chef is up for some criticism. Cooking is an art which many people simply do not understand! The Chef has not earned a degree by making his presence felt in the catering college, but by actually working hands on job to learn the basic culinary skills and mastering it to perfection.
I remember till date when I was asked by my teacher in catering college what my intentions were in joining a hospitality school and I very proudly stood up and said “I want to be a Chef “ She gave me one glance and said “Mark my words, you will never be a Chef”. I do not know what she saw or felt about me or whether she could foresee the future, but till date her words stand so true. As much as it was a calling and my entire heart lies within the cooking, I did not become a chef.
When I think of a Chef, I think of a magician, a person who can create all sorts of magic with food, or a deep sea diver who can dive into the ocean and come up with different type of pearls. And once he understands your likes and requirements, he can stir up an exclusive meal fit for a king. Guests are always appalled by his creations and hence the phrase, “the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”! The Chef then becomes their best friend forever.
To be a Chef calls for some long working hours and a dedication to the career. If you have no love for cookery or for food itself you should seek a different career. A Chef today is very much dedicated to the work he does and his work is reflected in the food that he creates. You can actually feel the love in the food that he cooks. A chef starts by spending a minimum of 2 to 4 years in a culinary institute where he is exposed to the gastronomy of the world. He undergoes real training in hotels and restaurants and spends hours on the job trying to master the art of being a great Chef. It is during this time that he is finally convinced if the culinary field is meant for him or not. On graduation he is then employed by catering institutions where his skill set seems fit. He now enters the open world willing to take on any challenges and works his utmost best to deliver his products.
Today a variety of Television shows bring out the best in the Chefs. But honestly this is not what you will witness in the real world. There is a lot of chaos and noise, heat and smoke in these kitchens and moreover you have to stand continuously for the entire shift preparing the meals. So then what pleasure does the Chef derive and why does he still do it?
Once they have learnt the basics of cookery, the Chef can now amend dishes and create fusions foods. They not only have knowledge on the basics of food but also familiar with international cuisines. They must know their ingredients well so as the balance them when using in the dishes.
My life has been a continuous travel. I am a fan of food itself. I do not discriminate and welcome every dish with a whole hearted appetite. I love to create fusions with all sorts of food, like a dash of curry powder with my pasta Alfredo can give a very Indian twist to the Italian specialty. I love to combine my red meats with a nice glass of red wine or my seafood’s with a white wine. I take pride in learning different world specialties like spicy Guacamole from Mexico and cold sushi from Japan. I’ve even had the pleasure of eating Escargots from France and reindeer meat in Finland. Although my journey is far from over, my travels will continue, exploring news lands and venturing into world class gastronomy, grasping knowledge from all the corners of the earth. The world of food has really so much to offer and each day is merely a bite that we take. And although I can’t really say that I am a Chef today, the passion of being one is still very fresh inside me while my culinary skills have never ceased. And while at home I do experiment for my family and friends I can comfortably say that I am getting better and better in the art of cooking.
At American Culinary and Cruise Line Academy, we train our students in the art of cooking. Our students are trained by professional chefs who have themselves sailed onboard cruise ships. Those candidates who have never held a knife in their hands walk out of the institute knowing not only all the different types of knives but all the different cuts of meats and vegetables as well. They are trained to understand a life at sea and all it takes to see them as professionals in the industry. They undergo 3 months rigorous training at the college facility and then do a 6 months internship in a Hotel before spreading their wings to a fully, fledged career at sea.
The academy is one of the best in the country catering to students who wish to join the cruise line.