Friday, July 28, 2017

Breaking News
   Kovind takes oath as 14th president   Syrian rebel aid programme was ‘dangerous and wasteful’: Trump   62.3 lakh tourists visited Goa in 2016-2017   CM assures he will streamline recruitment process for jobs   Smartphone demand won’t be impacted by GST: Survey   Yatrik Travels organising various tours   Jaitley: RBI processing old notes to verify numerical accuracy   Google CEO Pichai joins Alphabet BoDs   No service tax on online rail tickets till Dec 31   Black money: India to gain access to Swiss bank info from Sept 2019   Cash curbs paralyse ops in co-op societies   Margao business, markets reel under liquidity crunch   Customers, bankers kept on toes in Mapusa   Long queues at banks on Day 1; cash crunch hits State   Anger And Scramble To Stash Cash In Black Money Squeeze: Foreign Media   After PM Modi Speech, Hawala (Money-Laundering) Spiked, Triggering Raids   Defence Minister Parrikar\'s Nuclear Remark Stressed As \'Personal Opinion   \'If You Succeed, The Country Succeeds\': Obama Tells Trump During Meet

Sections

Business

ACCLA: Moulding chefs for the high seas

17th April 2017, 06:37 Hrs

In an era of super specialisations, Margao-based American College of Culinary & Language Arts focuses on training its students to become chefs on cruise liners. Parixit Pai Fondekar, director, ACCLA spoke to The Goan Everyday and explained how his course prepares his students for life ahead as a chef on some of the world’s most popular cruise liners. Karan Sehgal in conversation...




The Goan: How did the idea of setting up an institute like American College of Culinary & Language Arts (ACCLA) come to you?   
Parixit Pai Fondekar: We set up ACCLA five years ago and even prior to that we had been in hospitality recruitment for 15 years. We realised that there was an acute shortage of skilled chefs in the market. In fact, we were unable to get quality chefs needed by our clients.   
At that point, we went back to our clients and asked them to collaborate with us to come with a training programme with the help of which we can give students the required foundation. In addition to that, we also collaborate with hotels to provide training to ensure that students get required skill-set. That’s how ACCLA came into being.   

TG: But, there are so many hotel-management institutes in India. How can there be a shortage of skilled chefs?   
PF: Hospitality industry is growing by leaps and bounds in India and also in Dubai, Qatar and several other places. Indians are the preferred manpower in these places. In nutshell, everyone is fishing from the same pool. The other reason for lack of skilled chefs is hotel management institutions in India aren’t able to deliver quality required by the market.   

TG: Could you please elaborate on this…   
PF: In a 3-year hotel management course, the focus is on training students to become a manager by teaching them front-office, house-keeping, food and beverages and many other aspects. If a student decides to become a chef after a 3-year-long course, then all such training will be of no use.   
The standard of infrastructure and course curriculum at most hotel management institutes are out-of-sync with reality. After doing such a course, a student realises that he’s not technically equipped and due to that he suffers and the industry suffers.   

TG: How did you deal with these issues at ACCLA?   
PF: We decided that our programme will be focussed on cruise culinary. We train our students for a particular position called trainee chef. We focus on European and Continental food because that’s what most people have on cruise liners.   
Based on this, we calculated number of hours required for the programme. So, we have a 3-month course, which is followed by a 6-month training in hotels. The training is actually monitored internship during which the students report to us and we monitor their progress.   
We monitor what they are learning, what sections they are working so that appropriate action can be taken, when there’s a need. This is done to ensure that our students meet the industry’s requirement and that’s the reason we have 100 percent placement record.   
Remember, a hotel management graduate after 3 years of course will start at the same level as a person who has 3-month certification. So, a student, who does a 3-month course like we have followed by 6 months of training, has around 2 years of head-start over someone who has done a 3 year course.   

TG: What is your batch-size and fee structure etc?   
PF: We have 20 students in a batch. Each student has to participate in practical, wherein he or she has to prepare dishes from scratch and also make a presentation. Practicals are mostly individual. They later work in teams as well when they have to do larger menu.   
We charge Rs 1.5 lakh fees per student for the 3-month programme. There is no fees for the six month training. In fact, during the training, hotels pay stipend to students.   
We start a new batch every 45 days. When we start a new batch, the older batch is already done with half the three-month programme. We run one batch in theory sessions and another batch in practicals and then they switch. We also focus on soft skills and interview skills.   

TG: Can you describe what kind of a life chefs have on a cruise liner?   
PF: Being a seafarer comes with lot of sacrifices. You are on a ship for eight straight months with no off days. Besides, you need to really know your job, as getting any assistance from outside the ship is impossible. Understand it this way – The number of crew is limited because one extra crew member means one less guest!   
So the day you join a cruise liner, you need to know your job really well. Moreover, all the guests on the cruise liner will have all their meals made by you. In nutshell, your job is far more difficult than working in a hotel on land. But, the best part is you gain valuable experience on cruise liner and when you come back to land, the market acknowledges that value.   

TG: Which are some popular cruise liners your students are placed on?   
PF: Some of the famous cruise-liners our students are placed on are Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Lines and Thomson Cruises   

comments powered by Disqus