Culinary Students Should Learn Hands-on, Outside Kitchen Too

-Sudharsana Raju

M Jeyakumar is the General Manager of Tiruppur based RK Residency. The property, formerly called Hotel Angel, is one of the leading places for business visitors across the world. Hailing from a humble background and an agrarian family in the Theni district of South Tamil Nadu, after serving various hotels, Jeyakumar had his hotel management course through distance education when he was rejected by various esteemed hospitality giants. In an interaction with Chef Bharath, Jeyakumar shares the core competencies of regular education in hotel management and how students can make use of it.

How do you see the competency of students whom you are recruiting?  

I am very confident about the current generation. However, I feel, a lot of homework and practices only make them gain knowledge. No institutions can give the industry a readymade chef. The only way to gain quality is through practical labs and industrial expert guides. Such practices only make them achieve more.

What are the key trends you notice among the business travelers?

Vegan food is now developing across the globe. Whatsoever, I personally believe training is the core of any quality outcome. We follow prompt training when it comes to food making. However, it is sad to see most of the institutions don’t have professional experts to train the students but only teachers.

Within hotel management courses, what new courses will emerge in the future?

The hotel management department it is a self-blooming industry. Students who opt to enter the kitchen must have a passion for the studies. This will give plenty of opportunities and future carrier. There are more than 200 seats in the government hotel management colleges only. However, it is said that many students are unaware of these. In my opinion, beverages and serving as a course, are the booming industry. Students can get specialized in those respected fields considering the growing demand.

What are new innovations you suggest that can include in the hotel field for further development?

Daily improvement in the quality of the food and exploring the new variety of food making is needed. Today, every customer is expecting innovation or uniqueness in the food they consume.

For future development, the maintenance of hotel , ambience, overall atmosphere is also important. Also, further moving, working hard for building customer satisfaction is equally important. Building a brand for yourself and your institutions and enhancing the food quality will help for any chef in career growth.

What are the suggestions you give to students and institutions?

Develop a practice to network with industrial experts. No alternative than learning from the kitchens live. The institutions should daily give motivation about food preparing for the future chefs. Career building should be a ongoing process and the schools must explain the students.

Next is common awareness. In general, students from the small towns are not aware of the payscale or the work culture. The students should develop anxiety to learn beyond books on the latest trends.  While the students who had opted hospitality as a career has plenty of opportunities in this field. It is only that, they should realize and get hands-on experience and the schools should support their dreams.

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