There are many Hotel Management Colleges in India that provide the best hotel management courses in Food and technology and culinary Arts.
Now the question arises that what are the skills that one needs to join the industry as a chef?
If you define skill it simply means the ability to do something well, or to have knowledge in your field of work. Like any other industry the hospitality industry also needs people who have an open mind, willingness to learn and a lot of creative energy. It's all about discovering yourself over and over again, once you enter the industry.
Next on what criteria does the hotel industry hire people?
The main criteria that the industry seeks to hire people is that, Firstly one needs to complete senior secondary from a good institute ,with a minimum of 50% in aggregate.
A person from the culinary industry should be self-dependent and can become a businessperson for his/her restaurant or consultancy in any sector of hospitality Large FMCG companies requires chefs to develop flavors for new products. Catering industry is growing and is always in demand of creative chefs. Equipment manufacturing companies hire chefs for demos and testing their equipment.
Being a chef is not just about creating delicacies, one should also do adequate research in the cuisines they want to specialize in and it’s important to know the trends in the industry globally and locally. You have to be innovative and more than anything put your heart and soul into it.
Which are the top 5 institutes that students should consider for their studies/training before joining this field?
All the IHMs and ITCs WGSHA are great institutes for graduates. For post graduates, management and kitchen training is also provided by leading hotel groups. Oberoi’s OCLD and Taj’s TMTP offer great hands on learning and also provide training. The Culinary Institute of America and Le Cordon Bleu are the institutes outside of India that I would recommend.
Things you wish you knew about being a chef and the hospitality industry as a student?
It would have been good if there was more information available on hotel management and pursuing a career as a chef rather than just blind faith on word of mouth.
I feel if the renowned chefs and hotel chains together could work towards educating students and give them insights to a career in hotels rather than just promoting their own hotels.
A specific two-week induction to hotels while students are still in college would really help them to understand hotel life and take a sound decision.
As a fresher one is required to understand the operations of the hotel and his/her areas of work. They have to be associated with the front desk managers, the culinary department, general managers, event planners, and housekeeping department and learn from them.
While a chef’s main area of operation would be the kitchen, however at different times you would have to interact with the other departments as well. There could be big banquet events or weddings for which the chef has to work with the other teams to create the right menu. If you are handling in-room dining (or room service as it is commonly known), then it helps to know the guest’s preferences from the front desk/ guest relations manager. It will allow you to go beyond the given order to delight the guest.
The level at which a fresher starts off and the expected salary would be INR 10,000 to INR 15,000 a month.
Within a year, the individual can get promoted to a supervisory level. When one reaches the managerial level, a salary of INR 50,000 per month can be expected along with bonus and other perks.
Apart from hotels, if one opts for restaurants the salary expectancy can be INR 10,000 at the initial stage and can go up to INR 35,000.
The fresher can also choose to work with Cruise liners, where the salary offered is higher, around INR 25,000 to 80,000, depending on the individual’s skills and experience.