Turning chefs into artistes
Building a rich body of culinary experience needs undergoing intense training and acquiring near-perfect skills, which come with years of constant learning and practice
Building a rich body of culinary experience needs undergoing intense training and acquiring near-perfect skills, which come with years of constant learning and practice. There’s no shortcut to it. That’s the life of a chef, it’s definitely not glamorous as people think it to be. The thought and hard work that a chef puts in to cooking and presenting a plate of food is the result of the skills he/she has picked up over the years. But, the job doesn’t end there -- they also need to interact with their guests; this is something that adds to the overall dining experience.
For this, Gopi Byluppala, the founder-CEO of The Culinary Lounge in Jubilee Hills, has come up with the idea of teaching budding chefs all the works -- right from cooking to people skills. He plans to take 100 chefs under his wing as part of his project, which he says is the first of its kind to take off in Telangana by this year-end.
“For us at Culinary Lounge, chefs are artistes. We treat them like artistes even in the kitchen. They are not people who cook briyani or pasta, but are educators, mentors and enablers. We want to train them in such a way that they build their own brand, educate many others and also enable immature entrepreneurs to design and innovate. Chefs can play a vital role in everything; they have their core skills, which may be specialising in a particular cuisine or being an expert in a hot or cold kitchen, but beyond that we will train in other aspects too. The aspects that can help them become entrepreneurs,” says Gopi.
Most of the applications coming in for the programme are of chefs who are already working or have been in culinary field. In both cases, the knowledge is limited to food, he says. “To start a venture, many other skills are required -- such as managing finances, management skills and people skills. This training will help them learn these skills,” he says.
The training comes at a cost, but will be free of charge for women this year. Gopi wants more women to step out of their home kitchens and do brilliant work. “Anything that comes for free will not have much value. Hence, the charges for others will be nominal.”
Under this project, The Culinary Lounge will conduct a variety of cohorts -- South Indian, North Indian, Korean and Northeastern. “After teaching them the basics, we will divide the chefs into different cohorts, based on the cuisines, and train them accordingly.”
As applications pour in, Gopi and his team will shortlist these only in November and kick-start the training in December. Gopi says this programme is for anyone who wants to learn much more than cooking. He has some of the world’s best experts on board. “We have not decided the name of the programme yet, but I can say that this will make Telangana really proud. We will have a culinary revolution and put our State on the global map,” she says.