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Culinary Training For Industry Needs

As an organisational practice, training is recognised as one of the most common solutions for improving workplace performance. To foster that continued success, when changes in policy, goals, curriculum and
10 Nov 2018 12:43
Culinary Training For Industry Needs
As a chef, we need to ensure all food going out of the kitchen is safe for our customers.

As an organisational practice, training is recognised as one of the most common solutions for improving workplace performance.

To foster that continued success, when changes in policy, goals, curriculum and even technology arise, properly trained employees are more likely to accept change with an open mind and positive attitude.

Eating and cooking provide the basis for many people’s favorite memories, and the best chefs are people who are truly passionate about their cooking.

Passion is essential

This passion is essential for those considering culinary training.

People who possess it are not just training for a job – they are pursuing their calling.

We, at the National Training and Productivity Centre (NTPC), provide hands on training for Culinary Arts along with professional baking and pastry techniques.

From simple basics to complex techniques, our trainers keep up to date with current market trends and update the learning outcomes to exceed expectations.

We work with participants in kitchens fully stocked with industry-standard equipment.

Contemporary food reception and presentation skills are taught, as are modern gastronomy techniques to create food with depth and dimension.

NTPC programmes

The NTPC provides a large range of tailor-made programs to suit the organisational needs during in-service trainings.

We work closely with our industry stakeholders to identify areas of training need and up skill the employees to ensure efficient productivity.

Some important training for culinary arts, apart from technical skill sets, includes food safety and hygiene, kitchen safety, menu planning and kitchen cost efficiency.

World Health Organisation

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) an estimated 582 million people suffer food-related illness every year around the world and 351 thousand deaths have occurred.

As a chef, we need to ensure all food going out of the kitchen is safe to consume for our customers.

There is a very fine margin between serving safe food and unsafe food. Many things may go wrong in between which a chef may not realise as service rush are quite hectic at times.

These may include cross contamination, improper hand washing, using same utensils between raw and cooked food which are of high risk and poor storage.

While there are many occasions food can become contaminated during processing, 40 per cent of all food-borne illness outbreaks are a direct result of hand cross contamination. Consequences of food poisoning are not a happy one as it harms the customers’ health through sickness and in some cases may cause death.

A very common question we usually ask kitchen staff during training is the proper hand washing procedure.

The feedbacks usually given is apply soap and rinse with water.

Once the proper steps are explained in stages and the importance of each aspect is highlighted, it is usually seen that many employees were unaware of the procedures.

  • Who are they working for in a business operation?
  • How to make profit?
  • The costs involved?
  • Motivate staff?
  • Aware of legal requirements?
  • Understanding what customer wants?
  • Understand what Hospitality is all about?

This highlights another very important area for training which is cost control and wastage in the restaurant and kitchen.

Every business aims to maximise profits.

Controlling food and labor costs are two of the most important tasks for a restaurant and kitchen.

With proper menu planning, sales forecasting and employee training, a restaurant can prevent overspending on staff and supplies and still provide excellent quality dishes and service.

It is seen locally that cooks and chefs leave these for the Executive chef and Sous chefs to control rather than realising that it is every ones responsibility.

Using a variety of planning, monitoring and evaluation techniques, you can continually manage to control these expenses to ensure profitability is achieved without sacrificing quality.

The first step for this would be to perform food cost calculations.

You can do this by calculating the expense of each ingredient that goes into each dish, or divide the total number of diners you serve per month by your monthly food costs.

Food costs include the cost of the food, delivery, interest on those purchases, spoilage, and meals returned for lack of quality.

Knowing the food costs of individual dishes lets you determine whether they belong on your menu.

Other steps include thorough knowledge of menu planning, reducing wastage, cross training staff and promoting the use of local produce.

We are indeed blessed to have such a vast variety of food items available locally due to our tropical climate.

Not only is it freshly available, it is filled with great taste and flavors.

Promoting the use of local produce will help reduce the costs and will be a great boost to the economy by encouraging farmers to produce more goods of the highest quality.

To ensure we meet the required 28 per cent to 33 per cent desirable food cost it is important that employees understand the implications wastage has on the overall results.

Throwing away a tomato due to laziness of walking to a cooler can impact greatly as it will tend to become a habit and can have a multiplier effect on other products as well.

Maximising profits

Maximising profits with a healthy cost margin will most definitely have a direct effect towards a pay rise which everyone so dearly appreciates.

Staff training enhances the capabilities of employees and strengthens their competitive advantage.

Effective training will improve the personal characters and professional abilities.

Not only employees, management and organisation would benefit from staff training, customers and guests benefit as well, because of the received quality products and services.

Our focus as the Hospitality and Tourism Department of NTPC is to provide such trainings to help increase productivity in the industry. From food safety and cost control to specific technical skills, we are dedicated to achieving excellence in our designated areas of expertise as the tourism sector is the backbone of the economy.

Whilst doing so we are also focused on maximising use of our local produce and promoting the importance during each training session.

On a personal note, each chef working in the industry should always follow the two golden rules: “serve what you would eat” in context to food quality and safe food and “provide service which you would expect” in terms of customer satisfaction.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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