My daughter is in the 9th grade studying the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) curriculum. She is passionate about food and would like to become a chef. Please tell us how she can pursue this career and the best colleges in India and abroad.
Sunil, via email
Being a chef is not just about being innovative in the kitchen and cooking a great meal, it's also about being a great manager. You have to be able to efficiently manage goods, equipment, resources and people. Your daughter should pursue a degree or diploma in culinary studies. This training will help her understand quality ingredients, food preparation, presentation and kitchen management.
Chef, caterer, pastry chef and restaurant cook are the most familiar career paths but there are many other jobs in the food industry including positions in management such as executive chef; in sales such as catering director; or in administration such as food and beverage manager. Your daughter could also explore developing speciality products or become a restaurant consultant to entrepreneurs or even run her own restaurant. She could teach at professional cooking schools or be a food critic. The options are endless. An accredited qualification would require completing a hotel management course. This usually takes three to four years.
In India, some well-recognised institutes are schools managed by hotel chains such as the Taj Group in Ahmedabad; Oberoi School in Delhi and the Welcome Group in Manipal.
Some of the private institutes that offer courses in catering and hotel management are: Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition in Goa and New Delhi; Oriental School of Hotel Management in Kozhikode; Merit Swiss Asian School of Hotel Management in Ooty.
Whatever path she chooses, it's vital to decide on the area of specialisation and get some work experience such as an internship at a hotel or a cruise liner.
Some well-known schools outside India are: Hotel and Tourism School in Les Roches, Switzerland; Swiss Hotel Management School; Le Cordon Bleu Schools across the globe; Cornell University School of Hotel Management and Administration in Ithaca, USA and The Culinary Institute of America.