India

News from India

24 November 2020

By Master Chef Harish Pathak, MWMCS

I would like to start my article by talking about what a chef is.  Having worked in hotels for almost 17 years I realised that a chef is not just a cook, a chef is an artist, an epicurean, a connoisseur. A trained professional cook has to be dexterous in all aspects of food preparation and be highly skilled.

The life of a chef no longer has to revolve only around the kitchen and cooking. The traditional old school practice of a chef standing for long hours in the kitchen and only preparing certain dishes has long gone.  Indeed, young dexterous chefs are now keener on taking up their career option as food bloggers and food critics where they can juxtapose both their stylistic approach and expertise combined with time working in the kitchen. They also aspire to be recipe testers, food specialists or food connoisseurs where they can use both their culinary skill and their intellect, henceforth sharing the kitchen conundrums.

Likewise, young chefs in recent times are taking up jobs like that of food forager and going on a hunt for fresh, organic and unique ingredients, thereby not being confined to just cooking. Moreover, this is turning out to be a great career option for young chefs as people in this modern time are pretty much inclined towards organic and sustainable food.

Nowadays, chefs are also being hired by hotels and restaurants to promote their businesses. They are also being recruited at managerial level by various companies associated with kitchen equipment and food items where they can impart their experience and knowledge gained in the kitchen. They are now being asked to make convenience gravies and sauces so as to achieve more consistency, at the same time as preparing exotic dishes at different hotels and restaurants. Chefs are also getting opportunities to host culinary shows and contests on television and impart their culinary skills and experience to the common masses, making them aware of the niche of culinary art. There are so many new prospects waiting to be explored for aspiring chefs who wish to find an alternate path in the journey of being a chef.

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