OUR STUDENT SHARES HER EXPERIENCE OF “THE CHRISTMAS DELIGHT” EVENT!

Hello everyone! Firstly, I would like to start with my introduction. I am Archana Rajbansi and I am a student here at Pacific Hospitality And Culinary Academy enrolled in Certificate III in Commercial Cookery. I have just recently completed my one year of training with PHCA during which I got the opportunity to do my internship in the kitchen department in Hotel Shambala, Kathmandu. It was such a wonderful experience training under professionals and getting that kind of industrial exposure. I had also received the opportunity of participating in the Hypro Master Chef Challenge, a special event in the Sixth Food & Beverage Hospitality 2018 expo organized by House Of Rajkarnicar. And to my surprise, I was able to secure the second runner up position in the competition. I was very hesitant of participating at first because I was not a confident person. Thankfully, with the college’s support and guidance I participated and I got to share and live such an overwhelming experience. It really boosted my confidence and I really got to learn so much. I have got the opportunity to have had many such experiences that would remain in my mind’s eye as PHCA always strives to provide such kind of platforms and exposure for the students through events, workshops, trainings, etc. We really get to explore ourselves and create, innovate and push our skills further.

One of such events was “The Christmas Delight” event that was organized by British Coffee School in association with Pacific Hospitality Culinary Academy on the 24th of December at PHCA. It was a dinner event where the guests invited got to experience fine dining and indulge in a three course meal. And with all of us, the aspiring chefs engaged in back of the house as well as the front of the house, the Christmas dinner party turned out to be a success. I, however, was involved in the food production department where as some of my friends were involved in service, some in maintaining guest relations and some in live music as well. To sum it up were given the responsibility of running the entire show, be it food, be it service as well as entertainment.

Experiences are personal – and there is a lot of learning that can be derived from those experiences. We entered the kitchen at around 10 AM for the preparation needed. Then we had a small briefing about the dishes we were assigned; furthermore we were divided into groups. After group division we were on the floor doing the preparation.

Having had the experience of working in a professional kitchen I have realized that kitchen is a place where team work, co-ordination, communication, helping each other matters the most. We all went through the precarious process of producing delicate and delicious meals. Everybody was on full swing doing their allocated works. The event started at around 5 PM, and then the real game started on. Pressure and stress could be felt and the kitchen environment looked tense.  Then list of orders started to pile up, we were on and on dealing with the meal prep, plating and finally passing the orders to the service department. In this kind of situation we ourselves become more critical of our dishes than the customers.

Talking about the obstacles, I clearly remember we ran out of stock for our main course. It was a chaotic experience, my friends and I myself had a kind of panic attack but with great team work we overcame that too. Within a nick of a second, some of our friends came up and helped the team for the immediate production. And we were able to provide the dishes on time.

Summing up the whole experience, yes there was some rush hour but what is a kitchen without the rush hour and at the end all of those efforts were definitely worth it. For running a successful event great team work is a must. And I was glad I got to learn that through experience. Lastly, I would like to thank our college management team for providing us this experience.

The message is: always be positive, passionate, listen to your superiors and never question their credentials or their judgments. Learn how to be a good team member but never rest easy because that team will change tomorrow! So you need to be on your feet all the time! Be confident and work with full determination towards turning your passion into a career!

Realising the potential of Work Based Training!

Why should I do Work Based Training (WBT)? What do I expect during WBT? What do I learn during WBT? Do you have these questions as well? Do these questions bother you?

Let us guide you and help you figure out why is WBT an integral part of your curriculum.

Firstly, what is Work Based Training?

Now, the concept of Work Based Training (WBT) is defined as “any purposeful application of training to the task of educating a human being.” It means every time a learner goes to work they are learning, demonstrating competence and in the same process working towards completing their qualification. Work Based Training and Practical Placement (WBT/PP) opportunities are an important component of employee engagement and skills development.

Now what should you expect to learn during the Work Based Training?

Here we have listed down some important points that should be a baseline for you for understanding the significance of Work Based Training. Take a look at these points one by one to comprehend what knowledge you are seeking for during your work based training.

  1. Application of classroom learning in real world setting:

The purpose of education is to prepare students for life. To optimize the learning experience, WBT demonstrates the relevance of subjects, providing a meaningful framework for both academic and personal development. Students need to reflect on their units, both the theory and practical aspects of their study and try to connect the dots to its application depending on the scenario.

  1. Kitchen Operating Procedure on Hotel / Resort:

Only having a vocational training in the college premises is not sufficient. The main challenge is to work in a hectic schedule in the hotel itself. WBT provides the correct amount of introduction to the kitchen operating procedure including from where the materials are supplied to who receives the materials and where and how it is stored, how it is processed to how the materials are used and presented to the guests. Students need to have an eye for observing all such procedures.

  1. Improvement in critical thinking, analytical reasoning and logical abilities:

Working in the industry itself, provides a platform. Every time one goes to work he/she is learning, demonstrating competence and in the same process working towards the improvement of their critical thinking as well as completing their qualification.

  1. Development of personal skill:

WBT is focused on the specific needs of individual learners and not ‘a one-shoe fits all’ classroom/group-based approach. Learning and assessment plans are created on an individual level for the development of one’s personal as well as professional skills. WBT considers the wide range of different backgrounds and experiences of learners and applies this when developing individual skill and strategies.

  1. Making education relevant and valuable to the social context:

Learners can progress once they have demonstrated competency. Incorporating real world connections into an education plan helps students understand why and what they’re learning is valuable to the social context. WBT assists to optimize the learning experience.

  1. Start from the scratch:

If you have a mindset that you will be able to create a dish and then serve it to the customers, then you’re definitely wrong. Each and every student, who goes into WBT, has to start all the way from the bottom whether it’s cleaning, or helping or washing.

  1. Management of kitchen overall:

The last thing you need is problems in the kitchen. One thing you can surely expect from WBT is you get to learn and observe overall kitchen management which includes all activities for instance, from where the goods are being supplied to who receives it to storing, processing it to a dish, along with presenting and garnishing of the dish. In addition to that, you also get to learn about the costing of the good and supplements too.

  1. Free- hand practice:

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle. To know yourself is to know your goals and how to best achieve them. And to know to what extent you can present a dish using your creativity, technical skills and innovative ideas shows your capability in this industry. Not many get the chance to do free hand practice in a dish, very few yet talented get the opportunity to do free hand practice.

  1. Encountering of Attitudinal Changes:

You are bound to encounter some attitudinal changes since you will be working with some real professionals and they won’t take any kind of unpleasant or unfair behavior from the interns. Since you will be working in a star property’s kitchen, it’s bound to get all hectic and sudden stress and behavioral changes are expected to be faced. Therefore, exposure to such working environments will help you identify and develop coping mechanisms which help will you to maintain professionalism at work.

  1. Challenges and opportunities:

Theoretical principles can be taught in the classroom in the best way, but it is in the WBT venue that a student has to face real challenges and opportunity, i.e. how the real industry works. Challenges such as working for long hours in high pressure are certain to be experienced. With these come opportunities to showcase your skills to the professionals.

  1. Introduction to work hierarchy:

I’m sure you have heard the term “hierarchy” in the theoretical classes, but it’s in the WBT where you will get to experience and develop a better understanding of the significance of its’ implementation . The structure will vary slightly depending on the size and style of the organisation, however, as a Culinary student it’s important to know and understand the many positions held within a professional kitchen along with their roles and responsibilities.

  1. Get connected and develop your personal network:

Networking is an exchange of information between people, with the ultimate goal of establishing acquaintances and relationships to advance your professional career. WBT provides the perfect environment where you can associate and develop your relations with professionals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q/A with Chef David A Brunelli!

This interview was conducted keeping in mind that the students willing to pursue a career in Culinary Arts may have queries regarding the scope, the opportunities and the challenges this field offers. It is an informal interview with Australian Chef David A Brunelli who owns the restaurant, Gennarro’s Italian Restaurant in New South Wales, Sydney. He has conducted many workshops for the students of PHCA and has also welcomed PHCA’s graduates to work in his kitchen in Australia. A few of PHCA’s graduates have been doing their training (paid internship) in his restaurant in Australia.

We hope the questions the Chef has answered will give you a proper insight to this field, the challenges it has to offer along with the great opportunities that await!

How long has it been since you have started this career in the hospitality industry?

It’s been 25 years since I have started cooking. And I still have a lot to achieve.

 

Are any of your family members in this field too?

Yes, my family has been in this industry since my childhood. My father is an Italian and my mother a first generation Irish woman, they both are brilliant cooks and so they decided to open a restaurant.

 

Who do you look up to?

It has always been my father, whom I look up to. Since my father was an Opera singer as well, he used to sing and cook in the restaurant. Every child look up to their parent, don’t they?

 

 Did you go to any culinary school?

Yes, I did. But before joining the culinary school, I finished my high school and went to university and studied Environmental Toxicology, but since my father needed help in the restaurant so I joined him and started my training in a culinary school. In Australia, cookery is classified as trade. TAFE NSW is Australia’s largest vocational education and training provider. So, I learned my cookery skills through this training provider.

 

What is it like to be a chef in your family?

Since both my parents are brilliant cooks, cooking skills run in the family, it’s like I have inherited the skills.  So it’s quite competitive being a chef in my family.

 

 Is there any dish that your family loves when you cook for them?

On Sundays, we have this “Family Day” where all of our family members come for a late lunch or early dinner, where we cook like 5-15 courses. The food I cook is called ‘Ragu’ that’s basically a meat based sauce. I use pork and beef and cook it for 4-5 hours. I see my family enjoying the dish so am guessing they love it!

 

Is there any chef that you admire the most?

I’m not really big on “Gordon Ramsey” kind of stuff. I have my mentor Mark, Edward, who is an English Chef, I admire him the most. And then there is Anthony Bourdain, an American Celebrity Chef, I admire him because I found him very down to earth, he didn’t cut to the chase.

 

How often do you meet your family?

Since it’s a very demanding job, you don’t get to meet your family very often. Generally, when you have a public holiday, it’s hectic the most around that time, I am talking about 15-16 hours of duty, you can’t make it to different occasions and celebrate with your family and friends simply because it’s the time when the flow of guests are more.

 

What’s it like to have your own restaurant? Was it a “Dream come true” moment for you?

It’s always one’s dream to have your own business. When my father got ill, I took over my father’s restaurant.  It was quite a challenging task moving from an employee to an employer. You’re basically responsible for the staff, guest, and management administration. But my wife, she is my business partner as well and she is a Nepalese. Without her I wouldn’t be able to handle it, she basically does all the management work.

 

What makes you happiest when at work?

When the customers and the staff are happy, if I don’t have to tell the staff that something’s not right, that’s what makes me happy.

 

Where did you work before?

 The first place I started to work was a 5 star hotel. It’s called Grace Hotel. It’s in Sydney; I worked there for like 12 months. After that I worked in a 5 star hotel called Westin. It’s a fine dining Italian restaurant. I probably worked there for 6 months. And then a friend of mine got a job for me in an Eco Tourism Resort called Dooralong Valley Resort located in Central Coast.

I worked in Hornsby RSL Club too. It’s a club for the people who have served for the country, it’s open to the public as well. That’s where I got into the management part. I worked there for 3-4 years, that’s where I met Mark Edwards, the person who inspire me the most.

After a while I interviewed in another company called Villa Acru De Chelu, It’s a private resident for the Saudi Arabian prince. I was working for the royal people. I worked there for about 5 years.

In between I also worked for a company called ‘Chefs on the run’. Basically, they provide temporary or permanent placements of Catering and hospitality recruitment for hotels, restaurants, pubs and contract catering. This kind of job is very demanding cause everyday you could be in different place working. This was the highlight of my contracting career because it allowed me to work in 5 start restaurants to small cafés. It was probably the best experience in my career.

After that I started my own catering company called ‘Sopra Vento’ meaning Sopra is “above” and Vento is “wind”. That was a strange experience for me, because I started taking over the kitchen management in South West Italian Australian Association which is a company that contains club, hospitals, nursing homes, etc. I worked on a contract basis for like 1 year.

I once again got approached by an RSL club, that had club and a nursing home as well, where I took over the kitchen management, that’s the time when I wasn’t cooking anymore, I was basically handling the kitchen administration. Most of the latter part of my career was administrating the kitchen.

Once again I got approached by a hotel called Grand Hotel, but this time it was for my father’s restaurant to be leased inside the hotel. Finally I started Genarro’s Italian Restaurant again, but this time the restaurant is inside the hotel. We provide 3 meal courses for the hotel guest and the general public as well.

 

 Any advice you would like to pass on to the students who are planning to work aboard?

First thing, I would like to suggest is to make your English very strong because the English spoken here and in abroad has a huge difference. English is going to be the biggest obstacle. And that’s the key to be understood and the key to understand somebody that you work for. You can be really good at work but if you have a communication gap then the hard work might not pay off.

The next biggest hurdle is to become integrated to the western culture. Many of the people think it’s very easy because you watch it in the television, but in reality it’s very difficult to live in western society. The cost of living is much more expensive, so students need to work hard and never give up.

Also, you need to have a positive attitude if you are aiming to work in the international hospitality industry. Here, work comes before anything, so you need to have that passion, sincerity and determination to pull it through the day with a smile on your face. Students need to enter with a big dream, a vision but should not close an eye to reality! Because what they do today and how they perform today will actually define and determine their tomorrows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

British Coffee School- Putting Nepal in the World Map of Coffee, one cup at a time!

 

Coffee Culture was almost non-existent in Nepal 20 years ago. While the Country loved to indulge in Tea, Coffee was somewhat only for the Elites. You could pass by tea shops in almost every nooks and corners of the country but if you were in the search for a freshly brewed cup of coffee it meant a visit to one of the Star Properties, in fact to be precise, a Five Star property! Now that’s one luxury activity only a few could afford to indulge in.

However, with time coffee was made available to the middle-class and this once foreign indulgence was demystified. It took some time for the Nepalis to treat their taste buds with something different then tea but eventually they couldn’t resist it any longer. Today, coffee consumption in a few major cities of Nepal, like Kathmandu, Pokhara, Dharan, Chitwan  has shot up dramatically. You could find it in the menu of almost every hospitality centers, especially in the capital city, Kathmandu. There is always something or the other trending amongst the urbanites in Kathmandu, but the trend of coffee was here to stay.

As coffee shops begin to sprout in every other corner, it was soon realized that even though Nepali coffee connoisseurs have increased in numbers, yet the quality and the demand of coffee has not been able to catch up. Now, with a lot of research, determination and patience of course, we finally came up with the solution to this problem which was the establishment of British Coffee School. Planning to meet the market demand of skilled baristas and to produce and serve fine-quality coffee PHCA (Pacific Hospitality & Culinary Academy) joined hands with Beverage Standards Association (BSA) in UK to open the British Coffee School in Kathmandu, Nepal. It is the first UK accredited Coffee Training Establishment in Nepal offering Barista Courses and Coffee Art Courses to achieve excellence in coffee training enabling students to find jobs with practical experience. Our courses are accredited by the Association, which in itself is a British Government approved coffee qualification provider in the UK with course content and syllabus that is internationally recognized. It is in fact the first Barista School in Nepal providing a VRQ Level 2 Award in Barista skills.

However, getting affiliated with BSA and providing an International Degree in Barista did not necessarily mean that the students would become a Barista Expert! It depends a lot more in the delivery method of the curriculum, how to effectively use the resources at hand provided by BSA and so much more in the trainers who deliver the curriculum to the students. Therefore, in order to assure and bring forth maximum output from the designed BSA Curriculum, we had Mr. Jon Skinner for guiding us all the way through! He is an accomplished British individual in the world of barista and coffee brewing. He was one of the first judges at the World Barista Championship, and now he is associated with British Coffee School for the production of efficient baristas.

The process of getting affiliated with BSA included the visit of Mr. Jon Skinner in BCS to first train our trainers regarding the course and the delivery method, the assessments and Coffee history and culture internationally. The trainers were individually trained both intensively and extensively for 3 days in and out and were given a one month period to master the Course and deliver it to the First session of 7 students. Mr. Jon skinner then made his visit for the second time and carried out the assessment himself and then impressed by the results, he certified our trainers of British Coffee School which authorized BCS and our trainers to carry the course forward with other sessions. The role of barista trainer is very important, as their job is to encourage, motivate, and infuse, and from there, let the baristas run their own youthful minds and find what’s out there. This entire process made sure that the students joining us at BCS came out a proud Barista! A coffee Expert!

In terms of highlights, we had our Grand Opening Ceremony at the 21st of April, 2018. We had Mr. Jon Skinner celebrate it with us through the ribbon cutting ceremony. We have the best and the latest equipment imported from Australia and Britain so that, after completion of the courses our students will be ready to join any prestigious coffee establishments. Along with this, we provide maximum hands on experience with the Espresso Machines to our students as we follow the standard criteria set by BSA which is maximum 2 students per coffee machine and maximum 10 students per class. Our courses last for 4 weeks, 5 days a week, 3 hours a day with a minimum of 36 hours classroom time as well as practice in the Training Café. The students are assessed at the end following the assessment guidelines and using the assessment tools set by BSA and upon showing competence, are provided by the Qualification certificate from Beverage Standards association, UK.

A considerable amount of motivated youths are willing to work as Baristas in Nepal. And not only work, but they enjoy Coffee Industry and plan to pursue a career in this industry. Coffee culture has evolved so much so that Nepalese cultivate their own Nepali coffee. We only produce Arabica type of Coffee which is organic and coffee is now being cultivated in 25 districts in the country. Nepali coffee is also being exported to many countries which include South Korea, Japan, UK and USA. It is clearly visible that Coffee Culture is expanding all over Nepal and so is the demand for Baristas.

The British Coffee School has plans to expand the coffee industry in Nepal through the establishment of a national roasting tree, hosting of coffee festivals, and so on. We aim to make Nepali baristas a human resource which is internationally recognized and sellable. Therefore, we welcome and invite all our prospective students to indulge in Fine-quality Coffee Making and earn yourselves exceptional Barista Skills! We believe that “When you become an Expert, work finds you!”

 

Visit www.britishcoffeeschool.com

Chef David Brunelli shares one of his favorite family recipes!

Being a Chef of a restaurant that you actually own comes with great responsibility! However, it certainly provides you brief moments of joy and fulfilling escapes through divine food indulgences in your own kitchen!

Thrilling experiences through food experiments and exploration; one could get easily used to this life style! Having lived this life style for more than 20 years now, Chef David Brunelli finds great pleasure in sharing one of his favorite family recipes for Gnnochi Napolitano with us!

Gnochhi refers to various thick, small and soft dough dumplings in Italian and these dumplings can usually be made from wheat flour, eggs, cornmeal, potato, cheese or similar ingredients. You can always make preferential choice of adding flavours of herbs to the dish. Similarly, Napolitano or Napoli sauce basically covers all kinds of tomato- based sauces derived from Italian cuisines.

Chef David however, loves his family recipe for potato Gnochhi which is actually the most famous one that are known and loved world-wide. It dates back to the sixteenth or, more likely, the seventeenth century. They generally say it all started after the Spanish explorers brought potatoes from South America and introduced them to Italian kitchens. David shares with us today, this recipe for potato dumplings and fresh Sougo fresco Napoletana;  a sauce based on tomato, garlic, olive oil and basil. It is a very popular dish and he has been making it for years now with his family and has also included this dish in his Italian restaurant’s menu. He adds that this dish is very easy to make even at your home. He recalls those memories when he along with his father, mother and sister would gather around to make this dish sharing conversations, talking about their life, work and where they were in life at that moment. You can follow why this recipe is so close to his heart!

Now, lets take a look at the ingredients that one needs to have to make Gnocchi Napolitano (egg free)

For making Gnochhi

  • 100 grams Flour + extra for dusting
  • 1kg potato cooked

For making Napolitano Sauce

  • 1kg ripe cherry tomatoes ( the smaller the sweeter, if you are using larger tomatoes you need to cut it)
  • 4-6 cloves whole garlic
  • 1-2 whole fresh chilies for some zing (*preferential)
  • 250 ml dry white wine for deglazing
  • 100 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil (E.V.O.) for the Italian flavor and taste
  • 4-5 fresh basil leaves for fragrance
  • 4-5 fresh parsley leaves for aroma (*preferential)
  • A pinch of black pepper or white pepper (*preferential)
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Once you have all these ingredients ready you are set to follow these methods for cooking Gnocchi and Napolitano sauce

Method that you need to follow for Gnocchi

  • Boil potato whole in skin until soft, drain, cool and remove skin while warm.
  • Mash potato as fine as possible, crush against board/bench, use potato ricer or mouli.
  • Level crushed potato on bench and sieve flour over potato. Combine creating dough.
  • Flour the bench (working table) surface lightly to prevent dough sticking and for rolling purposes.
  • Make a ball and divide into 4 and roll into cylinder shape approx. 1cm diameter.
  • Pinch dough lightly at approx. 2cm intervals and cut at intervals. Prepare water for cooking.
  • Bring adequate salted water to boil and drop gnocchi into water, do not overcrowd the pot.
  • Gnocchi are ready when they float to surface of water, then strain and put it on a plate.

Method that you need to follow for Napolitano Sauce

  • Heat oil to medium heat, add peeled whole garlic and chili, brown lightly and remove the garlic and chilly from oil.
  • Heat oil to high heat and add whole tomatoes and blister and sauté until collapsed.
  • Deglaze with white wine so that it imparts little bit of sweetness and takes away the acidity of the tomato and reduce liquid by ¼.
  • Lower heat to simmer and cook for approx. 5-10 minutes according to taste.
  • Add freshly cut parsley and stir
  • Add a pinch of black or white pepper
  • Bruise fresh basil between hands and add to sauce.
  • Add a little sauce to cooked gnocchi to prevent sticking.

Finally,

  • Plate gnocchi and finish with a little Napolitano sauce and garnish with grated parmesan cheese and basil sprig.

You are now all set to indulge in Gnocchi Napolitano! Stay updated with our posts, we will soon be sharing a Vlog for the recipe.

10 MUST HAVE QUALITIES TO BECOME A GREAT CHEF!

 

Do you aspire to become a world-renowned Chef? Even top chefs once had to learn the basics of cookery. Good Food brings you the must-know skills that will take you from nervous novice to a confident cook! While they are with no doubt a few attributes that set aside the best talents from one another, there are also few similarities in these attributes that Chefs share that help them to hone and perfect their craft! Since Culinary profession is a difficult industry to get into, you will have to work on sharing some of these characteristics if you hope to find yourself atop the mass as a established top Chef!

Here, we’ve put together few key skills that everyone should possess in order to become a top Chef!

 

  1. Attentiveness to Detail

A chef’s job requires undivided concentration and acute sensory observation. Inattention can cause a huge difference in tasting. A pinch too much sugar or salt, a missing garnish, a steak cooked for a minute too long or a strand of hair in the salad can threaten the success of an entire dish. Whether its ordering food products or figuring out what time to cook certain items, a chef has to achieve balance between seeing the big picture and attending to details.

 

  1. Respect the Sanitation

As a Chef, you are working in the food industry where you make food for others to eat. It is your absolute duty to know how to keep your kitchen clean and respect any sanitary law.  You need to get all your certifications and respect them; it’s your commitment to quality.
Cleanliness is next to Godliness, and a chef should always keep that in one’s mind. Being mindful of cleanliness should be a part of work routine to a chef.

 

  1. Creativity

You need to have a flow of creativity if you want to work in the food industry. Chefs must be creative about getting the freshest ingredients and combining them in a way that each one highlights and balances the taste of the other. Creativity is what inspires a food’s presentation which is very important to a customer’s overall dining experience. A chef should always be creative enough to incorporate new food items to the food menu and revise and improve old recipes to enlighten the customer’s taste buds with new flavors. If this is applied and practiced well, you can be sure for the customers to be patronized by your restaurant. Creativity, innovation and imagination will keep customers coming back to a restaurant.

 

  1. Dynamic Decision Making

Kitchen can get pretty hectic at times and it is the responsibility of a chef to make a fast paced decision. A chef has to make various decisions at once in a quick and efficient manner. Because you have to work in and around the clock with no minutes to spare in the food preparation industry, problem solving must be done quickly to keep customers satisfied and for the operations to flow smoothly.

 

  1. Endurance and Stamina

Being a Chef is not easy and it certainly requires all kinds of strength, be it physical or mental. A chef has to work his way through long hours from the middle morning to the late hours of the night, most of the time in feet exposed to heat, grease, high pressure and odd working hours. . And this is something all aspiring chefs need to be prepared for! A chef needs stamina to remain focused and consistently produce top quality food. Every muscle aches in a chef’s body counts!

 

  1. Mulittasking

A great Chef is adept at multitasking. In the kitchen, a chef will always be working on multiple tasks at once. Be it addressing some issues of staff or working on several elements of a meal, a good chef must always be able to juggle these tasks hand in hand while maintaining their own productivity. They are the ones who are overall in charge from the initial planning process to designing menus to raw material procurement and inventory management to finally ensuring that the right order goes to the right table at the right time. And these activities should be seamless only then will it result to satisfactory service. It is the chef’s duty to keep tabs on all of it.

 

  1. Ability to lead

It is always the chef who is responsible for the kitchen. They have to be able to give directions to their team and maintain an amicable atmosphere in their kitchen. They need to guide, coach and monitor their juniors so that the operations run smoothly. Deflated, frustrated staffs are unable to deliver their full potential. And it comes to a great chef to inspire these staff and be able to keep every one of them working harmoniously at a fast and efficient pace. This might mean taking time to train struggling employees or helping to boost morale when times are at their most stressful.

If you seek to become a top chef, you will have to fulfill the leadership requirement. This will demand organization skills as well as you have to stay organized and work to ensure that every aspect of the kitchen is functioning with maximum efficiency. This could get stressful and trickier with added responsibilities like stock management, budgetary oversight, employee scheduling and more.

 

  1. Teamplayer

If you’re not a social person or don’t enjoy interacting with others, you better start practicing now as a great chef understands that he or she is part of a larger food preparation team and that everyone must work harmoniously to ensure the timely production of quality foods. When you are working in the kitchen, even with its apparent hierarchy of talent and renown, you have to appreciate your role in the team and realize the importance of working well with others in a team. You are never going to work alone; you will always find aides and helpers aplenty from the very first day to the last. You will have to work every day with prep cooks, chefs de partie, boulangers, potagers, sous chefs, executive chefs and more. Your ability to work with all of this added assistance can make or break your rise to top tier success.

 

  1. Business Acumen

 A chef must have good business sense to run a profitable organization which is often developed through hands-on experience and trial and error in the kitchen. A chef should always be keen about how to make a delicious quality food considering the cost and wastage as well. As a Chef, you are also the kitchen manager: negotiating, leading and managing are imperative and necessary qualities.

 

  1. Rage for Culinary arts

 When you’re passionate about what you do, you never have to work a day in your life. If you love food and cooking, you’ll do just fine on this checklist item. Attending a culinary school will provide you with the tools and the opportunities to convert your passion into a life career. All you need is passion to cultivate your skills and turn it into something meaningful.

Take a look into the journey of Chef David A Brunelli!

What is it like to be born in a family of Chefs from generations? What are the inspirations and aspirations? Let’s take a brief look at the journey of one such well wisher of PHCA who started right from the bottom and made his way through becoming a Chef and now a restaurateur!

Meet Australian Chef David Brunelli who specializes in Italian Cuisines and owns an Italian based restaurant – Gennaro’s Italian Restaurant which is located inside the Grand Hotel, Wyong, NSW, Australia.

We managed to sit for an interview with Chef David for knowing him better, his journey, his experiences, his inspirations and what was it really like to become a chef in a family where the cooking spirit has thrived in the members for generation. During this interview, we also got an opportunity to understand his background, his love for food and why he made the choice of pursuing a career in the ever growing hospitality industry.

So from what we know now, David’s family has been engaged in the restaurant business for generations , his father who is from Naples, Italy, owned an Italian restaurant called Genarro’s Italian Restaurant. So the restaurant is named after his father. His mother on the other hand is Irish and a brilliant cook! Looks like cooking skills are inherited in the family’s genes!

We all are well aware that Italian food is loved globally, be it crusty pizza, or cheesy flavored pasta packed in a bowl.  It is hard to find an individual who wouldn’t adore this Cuisine. And so was for Gennaro’s, though it was a small family business, the food they served was loved and enjoyed by the customers. Chef David recalls the time when he rushed to the restaurant after his high school got over in order to help his father in the restaurant’s kitchen because that’s how busy it actually got! Meanwhile, he learned about Italian cuisine and eventually with time he fell in love with it! As his love for the business started growing, he started getting more involved in the kitchen and their food menu so much so that he was also involved in production. Soon he began to receive positive tips and reviews from the customers and then came the moment of realization, that was when he could listen to his guts telling him that this was what he was meant to do! He was now aware of his passion for cooking and this instinct guided him to take the lead and make the decision to drop his further studies in science, and dedicate himself in learning and understanding the hospitality sector.

Being a student from Science Faculty, David has the benefit of the knowledge that comes from the fundaments of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Due to this, David incorporates his knowledge of science with his cooking skills and considers his academic background to be a great asset. He likes and enjoys the fact that he actually understands what goes into making a great food not only using ingredients but using science! He also considers himself to be quite inclined to art and innovation. He believes he is a creative person and so he channels his creativity to presenting food in a way that describes and validates the food beyond words! And that’s what Culinary Art is all about!

He quotes “I am not a scientist or an artist, nor a psychiatrist but rather I am a cook with mad ideas. And I love it that way.” He adds that it helps him to observe the theory behind atoms and molecules, so that one can understand how things are happening and why they are happening. It has helped him to develop his cooking skills over time.  Further he states “I mix up my ideas, put some spices and flavors and finish it off with my artistic instinct that is depicted as an art in a plate or bowl, which then I serve it to my customers”.

Everyone goes through a stage in their career where they struggle, work hard and put in their best interests and effort to achieve their goals. And it was not different for David, he had always dreamt to own a renowned restaurant. Although he has successfully achieved his goals and is now living his dreams, he recalls those days and hours of hard work that has made it possible for him! Before becoming the owner of  Gennaro’s, he worked for various notable hotels and restaurant such as Westin Hotels and Resort, Dooralong Valley Resort, Villa Arcu De’ Chelu, Chefs on the run and a few others that we lost count of! After gaining some experience through these places, he started his own catering company called SopraVento. That was when he started taking over kitchen management and administrating kitchen in South West Italian Australian Association (SWIAA) which is formed to provide social welfare, cultural and cross-cultural services to the Italian residents in the South West region of Sydney. Along with these associations, he adds he has been involved as a kitchen consultant for kitchen designing and renovations.

Chef David looks back in time, through his journey and shares with us that he is proud of what he has achieved so far and he still aims to provide better and quality food services to his customers in the near future.

 

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