December 25, 2020

6 Reasons to Go to Culinary School in Dubai

In response to a global appetite for camera-friendly chefs, more and more aspiring home cooks are turning to streaming platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Twitch to live out their culinary-minded dreams.

This, in turn, begs the question, with people positively responding to the increasing number of food and cooking shows, is culinary school still worth it?

The short answer? Yes. But indulge us for a minute longer.

The most highly successful celebrity chefs, the Gordon Ramsays and Bobby Flays of the world, all started in culinary school. They honed their culinary skills away from the camera, in creative environments where they could take their culinary learning experience to the next level.

If you have a lifelong passion for cooking and aspire to eventually transform that culinary passion into a profession, then start where the greats started by attending professional chef courses in Dubai like the International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA) Dubai.

Let us serve you up the six benefits of honing your craft and earning your culinary degree at the best culinary school in Dubai.

Expand your culinary knowledge

You may have raw talent, but do you know the techniques to become an expert in the culinary arts? For example, do you know how to quarter and truss a chicken? Or can you describe the five mother sauces that form the building blocks for many other sauces?

The skills you develop in our culinary training facilities will equip you with the confidence you need to make outstanding culinary creations.

Learn from the cream of the crop

Our culinary training program in cookery and several other courses incorporate both a theoretical and practical understanding of the culinary arts, helping you learn the science and theory behind cooking techniques from some of the best chef instructors in the world.

Every faculty member at the ICCA has rich international industry experience. 

Some have honed their skills under the guidance of celebrated chefs like Andrew Atkinson and Marcus Scrogenbegger, while others have worked in some of the most coveted restaurants and hotels in the world.

Graduate with a prestigious culinary degree

As a City & Guilds London-approved culinary institution, our vocational programs are accredited by the global leader in technical skills development. 

Graduating from ICCA Dubai means earning one of the industry’s most esteemed qualifications. One that is recognized and respected by culinary professionals around the world.

As the best culinary institute in Dubai with a proven reputation for culinary excellence, students at ICCA Dubai are ensured a wealth of career prospects. ICCA has a range of diverse opportunities available to graduates.

With several strategic partnerships in the hospitality industry (both domestic and abroad), graduates have the option to continue advancing their education in the culinary arts or pursue job opportunities in Dubai and around the world.

What’s more, we maintain a 100% work placement record for graduates of our professional programs. This allows you to learn from the best in the industry and pursue experiences unlike any other.

Hone your skills in state-of-the-art facilities

ICCA Dubai is known for more than just its personalized learning experience. 

Students who attend ICCA gain access to the most advanced training facilities in the Gulf region. Our purpose-built institution offers impressive classroom facilities, as well as fully equipped commercial and speciality kitchens.

Our classrooms and training facilities enable our students to get the most complete and comprehensive training in culinary excellence across the region. Students who attend ICCA Dubai get many hands-on hours in an industry work environment under the guidance of our team of classically trained chefs and instructors.

Connect with an extensive alumni network

Becoming a student at ICCA Dubai means immediately gaining a network of like-minded chefs-in-training and professional contacts in all segments of the industry. Our alumni network extends across the globe, thanks in part to our exclusive partnerships with the most prestigious institutions of the culinary world.

ICCA Dubai provides students with a global platform to gain valuable international work experience and real-world insights, preparing them for a successful career in whatever culinary pathway they choose.

Live and work in one of the most dynamic cities in the world

Dubai is a city that dreams big and thinks even bigger. As the gastronomic capital of the region, Dubai attracts some of the most dynamic chefs in the world and it’s home to a diverse and ever-evolving food scene.

Step off the ICCA Dubai campus and you’ll discover a city with one of the most insatiable appetites for culinary excellence. Many international talents — from Gordon Ramsay and Gary Rhodes to Nobu Matsuhisa — have all established their covetable eateries in the city.

Outside of its eclectic food atmosphere, Dubai is known as one of the most creative environments in the world. The city is surrounded by world-class architecture that shows startling feats of engineering, and thrills and adventures only found in Dubai.

And with hospitality central to the way of life here, you’ll be sure to feel right at home in no time at all.

Ready to experience the ICCA Dubai advantage?

As an aspiring chef, if you’re serious about a career in the culinary arts, then the culinary school is your best option in entering one of the most dynamic industries in the world.

With many pathways to a career in the culinary arts, ICCA Dubai allows you to experience the entire culinary ecosystem in a positive learning environment and under the guidance of the most renowned chefs in the region.

The world is your oyster. 

Let ICCA Dubai’s professional courses teach you how to enjoy it to the fullest.  

December 14, 2020

Pecan Nuts for the Festive Days

Nuts, the bite-size nutritional powerhouses are nature’s way of showing us that great things come in small packages. They are rich in healthy fats, protein, vitamins and essential minerals. While they all are good for health, different nuts have different nutrition credentials that offer various health benefits. We can’t really say one is better than the other, so we are picking Pecan nut as they are widely used during this festive season.

The buttery rich flavoured pecan nut is one of the popular edible tree nuts in the west. Although it is available and cultivated worldwide, it is native to central and southern parts of the United States of America.

Pecans are known for many health-benefiting nutrients that are essential for optimum wellbeing. They are heart-friendly and rich in anti-oxidants which make them effective at lowering cholesterol levels and help you maintain healthy functioning arteries. There is an abundance of oleic acid in pecan nuts that are found in olives & avocado, and are also a good source of vitamin B3 that helps fighting fatigue or sluggishness. To put in simple words, pecan nuts aid in digestion, bone and teeth health, reduce the risk of breast cancer and stroke, help in weight loss and strengthens the immune system as well.

Pecans, like most of the nuts, have an important role in maintaining good skin and hair health too. It is rich in nutrients such as vitamin E, vitamin A, folate, zinc and phosphorous which are essential for flawless skin.  The regular consumption of pecans in moderation will prevent most of the skin problems giving you a glowing and clear complexion. Pecans are also an excellent source of L-arginine amino acids that encourages hair growth and it also prevents hair loss taking care of the blood iron levels.

After this read, we are sure you know your favourite nut a little bit more. So, why not try and include this health booster to your everyday diet and see the results for yourself. And, now that we are celebrating the holidays why not whip up some savoury or sweet goodies with this power-packed nut and give celebrations a healthy twist.

Try making this Chocolate Pecan Roll recipe during this holiday season for your family and friends to enjoy the nutty goodness of pecan nuts in a delightful treat.

December 11, 2020

The Humble Beginning Of Fruitcake

Crisp white icing, boozy soaked dried fruits and the rich sweetness of marzipan say it all about Christmas. Decorated with fondant, icing sugar or even plain, a traditional Christmas fruitcake becomes much more than just a cake. No matter how much you prepare for the festive feast, it will not be complete without a fruitcake, and not to mention the most appreciated symbol of festive hospitality during the Christmas season.

The culinary lore says that fruitcake was not that common until the Roman times. For Christmas Eve, they used to make a ring-shaped dessert called Plum Porridge with a mixture of plums, pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and barley mash. Later, during the Middle Ages that dessert took a form of Christmas pudding with the addition of fruits, spices, and honey to the oatmeal mixture.

Beginning of Fruit Cake


Towards the 16th century, the oatmeal in the pudding was replaced by cake ingredients such as eggs, butter, and flour. This mixture was then boiled into the plum cake. Eventually, fresh plums were substituted in the cake by dried plums or prunes, which were quite popular dessert ingredients of the time. By the 17th century, plums were completely out of the scene with raisins filling in the gaps, although the name continued to remain the same.

As time passed on, the upper class of the society started using ovens to bake the cake with the addition of dried fruits and spices to it. It was during this time the discovery of fruit preservation was made by soaking it in a higher concentration of sugar which was eventually replaced by alcohol with the addition of candied fruits, during the Victorian era.

In Europe, a ceremonial fruitcake was baked at the end of the nut harvest season, which was saved and eaten the following year to celebrate the beginning of another harvest season. In those days, previous year’s fruitcakes were consumed in the hope that its symbolism would bring another successful year of harvest.

Each successive century seemed to contribute or change yet another element to the cake, and by the early 18th century, the cake became pure decadence and was proclaimed “sinfully rich”, a name the cake has managed to carry till date in all its glory.

Interested in learning the culinary techniques and methods in baking and patisserie?

Head to our Professional Patisserie Program page and learn more about the course in detail.


December 3, 2020

The Rise Of Specialty Coffee

Are you a coffee person? Is it the unreeling aroma of freshly brewed coffee that defines a perfect beginning to your day? Do you feel the unique bitter taste of coffee irresistible to your senses? If yes is your answer to at least one of the above questions, then undoubtedly, your barista plays a very important role in making your day. On several lazy mornings and brain-dead afternoons, this barista person has come to your rescue serving the liquid energy booster that your body has longed for, in the form of Espresso, Cappuccino, Latte, Iced, and all possible caffeinated concoction of this potent drink.

Coffee is an extremely popular choice of drink around the world.  A majority of us start and end our days with a nice steaming cup of coffee. Many a time I have wondered why people, including me, addictively enjoy coffee. Is it because of the energy boost that caffeine provides us, or just the fact that it’s an instant mood enhancer? Whatever the reason, the use of coffee has reached a point where its priority has gone much beyond it being just a beverage.

Making coffee is no more considered as a layman’s job. It is a combination of art and techniques. Coffee is a big deal in itself when it comes to the professional level. People are serious about their choice of taste when they pick their coffee. This is where a barista proves their distinction in the world of coffee.

Like in any other field, it is with a considerable amount of knowledge & skills and practices that a person becomes a barista or simply put, a Pro in coffee. You wouldn’t believe how many lab tests and experimentation a coffee bean might have gone through before it gets categorized as speciality. When a barista tastes a cup of coffee, he/she will taste it more knowledgeably soaking their senses in its distinct flavour and aroma. They don’t just taste the coffee, they feel and inhale the freshness of the beans, the perfection in its roasting & brewing, the robust flavour of naturally processed beans and much more.

Coffee is not limited to being just a beverage but is a big deal in the world of culinary as well. It is a popular taste enhancer and flavour used in desserts, cakes, salad dressings and even in meat marination. It is such a versatile bean that its characteristics can be altered from extreme bitterness to the mellow sweetness that can satisfy all the ends of the palate.

The best part about coffee is, it is not only flavourful but has many health benefits also. Taking these characteristics into account coffee remains by far one of the best discoveries in the world.

If you’re passionate about coffee and are intrigued by the world of Baristas, the Barista Program at ICCA Dubai will give you an insight into what speciality coffee is all about, from seed to cup, including the business aspects around setting up your very own cafe!

To learn more about the Barista Program, request a callback and our Student Admissions Team will get in touch with you...

November 25, 2020

6 Best Types Of Cookies From Around The World

Most of the home baking happens during the beginning of the holiday season, particularly December. And this is the time when people take more interest in even signing up for baking classes, to make sure their festive cakes and cookies are impressive for the season!

Cookies have always been associated with a cup of hot tea/coffee or a glass of warm milk. Tea time certainly calls for some cookies. Most of us have childhood memories of dunking cookies into a glass of warm milk and enjoying the melt-in-mouth texture of the dunked cookie. Those were some fun days, but it’s a different thing that some of us still enjoy doing it. No matter what, one can’t deny the fact that cookies are one of the favourite little bites everyone likes to munch on, with or without accompaniments.

We are all aware of the general concept of a cookie, but there is much more to it when it comes to the regional varieties. When we say regional, we are talking cookies around the world here. This holiday season, we have picked a few interesting regional cookie varieties for you to nudge the baker within.

1. Alfajores – Argentina

Argentinian Cookies - Alfajores

Alfajores are an important part of the Argentinean culture. These are made with two soft, and crumbly butter cookies sandwiched around a luscious dollop of dulce de leche. Indeed a sinful indulgence. I tasted these beauties when our patisserie students made a fresh batch a few months ago and trust me this can easily qualify as a dessert cookie.

2. Springerle – Germany

German Cookies - Springerle

Pretty unusual name, right? Well, in this case, the cookie flavour and form is also a bit special in its own way.  These are anise-flavored German Christmas cookies with a design carved out of rolled dough by pressing a mould onto it and allowing the impression to dry before baking. Quite a serious procedure for a cookie.

3. Nankhatai – India

India Cookies - Nankhatai

This cookie is not as complicated as its name. Nankhatai is an authentic Indian eggless shortbread cookie mostly made during festivals. It has a melt-in-mouth feel, made with Ghee (clarified butter) & flour, flavored with Cardamom or Saffron and topped with Almond or Pistachios. There is no doubt that some of the authentic recipes like this could just take our taste buds to a whole new level.

4. Persian Rice Cookies – Iran

Persian Rice Cookies - Iran

These are rich in texture, gluten-free and rose water & cardamom scented rice flour sugar cookies. The cookies are said to have originated from Kermanshah, a beautiful mountain area in Iran where rice is grown. I am sure this would be a great addition to the traditional sugar cookies for this holiday season to get your friends and family excited.

5. Tahini Shortbread Cookies – Israel

Israel Cookies - Tahini Shortbread

Tahini in a cookie! Surprised? Well don’t be, it’s a great addition that not only adds a nutty flavour but also balances the sweetness and leaves you asking for more. It replaces the butter too in the recipe, making it a healthy option to munch on.

6. Curd Cheese Cookies – Ukraine

Ukraine Cookies - Curd Cheese

Curd Cheese Cookies are mentioned both in American and Soviet cookbooks and they sort of share the same ingredients too, but that’s where the similarities end. The actual name of the cookie is Tvorog cookies; Tvorog being a Russian milk product which is a kind of curd cheese. These cookies are lightly sweet, crisp and crumbly.

Cookies are very simple to put together, quick to bake and are fun to decorate, which makes them the favourites of bakers too. Learning the fundamentals of Baking and Patisserie is the key to handle any kind of intricate cookie recipe from around the world. Try your hands on some of the regional varieties of your choice and enjoy the holiday season over a cup of tea and some light & crunchy homemade cookies with your loved ones.

November 22, 2020

Back with a Bang: Tips for Baking Businesses in the COVID-19 Era

All food businesses in the United Arab Emirates were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Several large restaurant chains were even forced to close some of their branches since they were not earning any money due to the lack of customers.

Bakeries, both traditional and home-based ones, felt the effects of the pandemic as well. With many people choosing to postpone or skip birthday parties and other gatherings or events, many business owners decided to close their shops temporarily while lockdowns were implemented.

If you own a bakery business, one of the few upsides that the lockdown brought is that you may have found the time and opportunity to learn new skills and update existing ones by taking up baking courses in Dubai.

With these new skills, you can create more baked goods to add to your menu and improve your current products.

Reopening Your Baking Business in the UAE

With restrictions already lifted, food business owners are now allowed to operate again.

As a traditional or home bakery owner, you can now open your store, sell online, and take orders. You have the chance to earn again while doing what you love to do.

Unfortunately, reopening a food business in the COVID-19 era is not as simple as it sounds. With the coronavirus still a looming health threat everywhere, there are several precautionary measures that you and all foodpreneurs have to implement to ensure your customers are enjoying safe products.

These additional hygiene and safety practices can also help protect you and your staff from the coronavirus.

If you are ready to reopen your baking business, launch a new branch, or accept more orders from your online customers, here are five important tips to keep in mind as you continue running a safe and profitable bakery:

1. Step up your kitchen and food handling hygiene and safety practices

The first thing that you have to focus on when reopening your brick-and-mortar or home bakery is observing hygiene and sanitation in the kitchen.

Keeping your kitchen and supplies clean and bacteria-free is now more important than ever. As such, you and your team need to follow the right food handling practices when preparing your products.

These practices should include:

  • Observing proper handwashing practices before handling ingredients and baked products
  • Wearing a face mask when handling food
  • Washing and disinfecting all baking pans, tools, and other supplies after use
  • Cleaning and sanitising the kitchen counter, sink, and baking equipment at the end of each day
  • Wearing disposable gloves as an additional precautionary measure and throwing them away after use

2. Practice physical distancing

Aside from the additional practices on food handling and hygiene in the kitchen, physical distancing is another measure that you have to implement once you start operating your baking business again.

If you have a bakery in the UAE, you and your team have to observe all rules regarding physical distancing. Your store should have clear floor markings and signage that guide customers in standing apart at least two feet from each other.

The staff should maintain the two-feet distance from customers as well.

When offering delivery services, encourage your riders to follow no-contact delivery practices. They should have as little contact with the customers as possible to minimise the risk of infections.

3. Redesign your menu

Before you reopen your baking business, take the time to rethink your menu.

With the hit your business took and the air of uncertainty still lingering around, it is best to review your menu and remove the items that are underselling. At this time, you will do well to focus on what you can make at a low cost with minimal waste and errors.

Consider putting a pause on more complex recipes and expensive items. If some customers are adamant about ordering them, you can offer them as made-to-order products, but you have to let them know that the prices will be a bit higher.

If you took up a baking course, take the opportunity to apply what you learned from the culinary school in Dubai while redesigning your menu.

If you like the new cake and cupcake piping techniques you learned, consider selling the treats and icing in a DIY kit and include steps and tips for decorating the baked goods based on their preference and creativity.

With fewer expensive menu items and more cost-effective, fascinating ones, you will have greater chances of getting better returns once you start operating again.

4. Ensure that everyone is aware of the safety measures you are taking

Even with fewer, lighter restrictions, many consumers are still hesitant about going out and even getting food delivered to their homes. You can help ease their fears and doubts by letting them know that you are taking extra steps to ensure you serve delectable baked goods that are safe to consume.

Use both offline and online materials and platforms to inform your loyal and potential customers how you make your treats safe to eat. Provide details about the measures you take inside the kitchen when preparing, baking, and packaging all baked goods.

Make sure your repeat and new patrons also know that you have implemented additional protocols inside your shop and for your delivery services.

Try to use as many marketing materials and platforms as possible, especially digital ones, since they are more affordable and easy to access. You can be as creative as you want and have different tools to choose from as well.

5. Be engaging and creative online

Finally, the number of Internet users increased by a hundredfold in the past several months. You have to make sure you reach out to your target audience to help fuel the success of your business.

Aside from updating customers about the changes in your menu, operating hours, and services, use your website and social media accounts for other things to give them and other online users something else to think about.

Post-easy-to-follow recipes that you are willing to share. You can also upload photos of your delectable treats and videos of how you created them.

To get the most from online marketing, be creative and consistent with your posts. Moreover, always engage with the people who like, share or comment on them.

Reopening your baking business at this time can be tricky. However, with these tips, you can slide into the “new normal” smoothly and find success again.

If you need to upskill your baking skills and techniques, see our patisserie courses on our Programs Offered page.

November 20, 2020

Starting a Home-Based Food Business: What You Need to Know Now

Do you have friends or relatives who sell their home-cooked food online? If you’re planning to do the same, then you’re in the right place.

There are many kinds of food sold by home-based businesses today. Some focus on baked goods and snacks, while others use what they learn from cooking classes to make something they can bake or cook and sell.

The entire home food enterprise idea probably began when people started selling homemade birthday cakes. And once the idea of buying customised cakes made from carefully picked ingredients took off, more people saw the potential for this business. The menu gradually expanded to other forms of desserts, regional specialities, finger foods, and other delicacies.

Here, we’ll teach you all you need to know about starting a home-based food business, from the most popular food products to sell to the requirements for opening a food shop.

3 Most Profitable Home-Based Food Business Ideas 

In any food business, you need to determine what kinds of food sell and how you can penetrate the market with it. With plenty of options out there, it can be difficult to choose.

For us at ICCA, we consider the following three items as the most profitable home-based food businesses today:

1. Baked Goods

If there’s one type of food item that people from all walks of life would buy, it is most likely to be baked goods. From cakes and bread to muffins, doughnuts, and other pastries, these products comprise a vast market in the food industry. The best thing is that they can easily be prepared, making them one of the best choices for your home-based food business.

If you love baking, you can turn your passion into something profitable. You can stick to a specific baked item to specialise in like cookies, cakes, bread, or anything you’re good at making. Or you can select a range of different treats to sell and focus on a further niche like gluten-free, sugar-free, and other diet-speciality goods.

With baked goods, you have the option to sell them through a consignment in a café or local shop or directly to customers via an online shop.

2. Catering

If you enjoy cooking for various types of events, then you’re built for the catering business. While it may seem like an enormous task, you can start at home by catering to smaller events you can work on during the weekends.

You can also consider specialising in a niche, such as a specific event or food. For the latter, one example is creating a sweet treat corner that’s perfect not only for kids' parties but also for gatherings like baby showers.

Of course, in the catering business, it would be more ideal to have a few more hands to help you ensure that everything is prepared and in order. This means you should think about hiring other people. You can tap into your pool of friends or relatives.

3. Speciality Goods

This one may require a bit more experience, but if you have a unique recipe passed down between generations in your family, then you have something to start with.

Some home-based chefs who choose this road focus on unique items that others would love. Below are some examples:

  • Jams
  • Preserved fruits, vegetables, fish, or meat
  • Roasted coffee beans
  • Chocolate confections

Like baked goods, there’s a high demand for speciality items in the market. Not only do they transform dishes into more interesting meals, but they also make great treats or treats sold online, through consignment, at fairs, and more.

How to Open Your Home-Based Food Business: 3 Basic Steps

Opening a home-based food business differs greatly from its traditional counterpart. Aside from the obvious dissimilarity between the location of operations, the former also requires less initial capital than the latter which explains why many small business owners choose it.

However, this doesn’t mean there aren’t any requirements you need to complete to operate in the UAE legally. Below are three steps you need to take before you can officially launch your food shop:

Step #1: Come up with a business plan.

Besides your chosen products and method of selling, a business plan should also contain calculations on the budget you would need. Think about the cost of equipment, supplies, bills, and salaries (in case you hire help).

Step #2: Obtain a business licence.

Even though you’ll be operating from the comforts of your own home, you would still need to acquire a special licence to be able to run your home-based business legally in the UAE. You can get this document from the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED).

But before you proceed with your licence application, know the requirements and regulations covering home-based entrepreneurs like you. You need the licence before you start operations, so you must first get one.

Submit the details of your business to the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) via their official website. You might also benefit from attending the basic food hygiene course provided by the agency to help business owners learn the proper way of preparing and storing food based on safety standards.

Step #3: Develop a marketing plan.

While you have what’s called a food business, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all you will need to do is cook. Like what you’ll learn in one of our professional chef training courses, marketing your food is as important as preparing it safely.

Besides the traditional brochures and business card advertising, you might want to consider promoting your food online. Since almost everyone has gone digital these days, doing so will help you reach more customers. Just remember to show it in your business licence application to make sure you’re fully covered.

If you’re sticking to social media platforms, add “e-commerce through social media.” If you plan to use a website, indicate “e-commerce through websites.” Add both if you intend to use both.

Cook Up Something Profitable

Many people consider cooking a hobby, but it can also become a profitable business. Begin your business at home to propel your cooking career much easier.

Don’t have an idea what to cook? We at ICCA offer different courses and short classes you can take to help you realise your goal of having a home-based food business.

Send us a message. We’re always happy to help.


October 26, 2020

Must Watch List Of Movies And Tv Series For Foodies

Entertainment plays a big role in moulding our interests and hobbies to sometimes even our careers. And, the culinary world is one such industry that has gained a lot of attention after it has been highlighted in the showbiz through various food shows and movies. We can’t deny the fact that being in the kitchen was not a much-fancied career choice for most of them in the earlier days even if they had an interest in cooking. But today things have changed, thanks to the media for taking the culinary industry to a whole new level, where it is considered as a pretty fancy profession for the food enthusiasts.

On that note, today we are here with a list of movies and food shows that are based on food, cooking, baking, chefs and even some memorable food scenes that could trigger the foodie in you.

1. Chef

Movie for Foodies - Chef

The movie ‘Chef’ tells you the story about a head chef taking up a food truck after giving up on his fancy restaurant job because of a controlling owner that comes in the way of his creativity. The most drool-worthy food scene in the movie is where he prepares the cheese sandwich for his son along with other mentionable scenes such as the pasta preparation for Scarlett and also when they taste the smoked meat. The movie also shows the importance of social media in the food business, especially for start-ups.

2. Julie & Julia

The movie is the film adaptation of the book ‘Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen’ by Julie Powell based on her own blog ‘The Julie/Julia Project’, where she posted about her attempt to cook all the recipes from Julia Child’s cookbook- Mastering the Art of French Cooking. From the beginning to the end it’s a splendid gastronomical journey where an amateur tries her best to cook one recipe from the book for 365 days in her limited spaced kitchen. It has also inspired many aspiring food bloggers or to say it gave a new dimension to food blogging itself. There are many memorable scenes in this movie and it’s difficult to pick just a few.

3. The Hundred-Foot Journey

Movie for Foodies - The 100-foot journey

It is about an extraordinarily talented and self-taught culinary novice and how he grows to a celebrated professional chef in France who is displaced from his native India along with his family and settles down in a French village where they start an Indian eatery which is only 100 feet away from a well-acclaimed and sophisticated French restaurant. Although there are many appetizing scenes in the movie, my favourite is the omelette making scene by Hassan with his secret box of Indian spices that he inherited from his motA mouth-watering dessert show hosted by Harry Eastwood, a British-born pastry chef and cookbook author whose adopted home is Paris, the city of love and food. It is an interesting series where she takes inspiration from walking into traditional French bakeries and biting into delectable French classic desserts & pastries to try at home for her friends and colleagues who visit her often. More than learning a French dessert in every other episode the other good part about this show is that you will get to see the local bakeries in Paris and their delicacies.

4. David Rocco’s Dolce Vita/India

David Rocco is not a chef but he’s a food and cooking enthusiast who learned to cook simple and delicious Italian dishes from his mother and started this television food series called David Rocco’s Dolce Vita where he travels around Italy and explores Italian cuisine and attempts those recipes by himself. It’s not one of those usual cookery shows that you see on TV, it’s more about exploring the Italian culture and lifestyle through food. Other than Dolce Vita he has such series with different places among which is Dolce India where he travels around India to try & learn about foods of an Indian household and their flavour to incorporate them in an authentic Italian dish.

5. Baking Good, Baking Bad

TV Series for Foodies - Baking Good, Baking Bad

A mouthwatering dessert show hosted by Harry Eastwood, a British-born pastry chef and cookbook author whose adopted home is Paris, the city of love and food. It is an interesting series where she takes inspiration from walking into traditional French bakeries and biting into delectable French classic desserts & pastries to try at home for her friends and colleagues who visit her often. More than learning a French dessert in every other episode the other good part about this show is that you will get to see the local bakeries in Paris and their delicacies.

6. Friends

TV Series for Foodies - Friends

Who doesn’t remember this 90’s favourite and evergreen TV series that revolves around six friends and their lives, in a humorous background? For the ones who think that this show is mentioned here by mistake, let me tell you that although the series is all about fun and laughter it had a lot to do with food as well in a subtle but good enough way to trigger the foodie in you. Every season of this show had a Thanksgiving episode with a splendid spread of typical American dinner by Chef Monica who is madly in love with food. It never failed to show how important sandwich is to Joey, and the way he explains how to make a good sandwich is quite tempting. Again, you will always find them at the Central Perk coffee shop sipping coffee and fighting over muffins. And oh, how can we forget Chandler’s Thanksgiving dinner Mac n Cheese and Rachel’s English Beef Trifle?

October 20, 2020

The Student Chef Experience at ICCA Dubai

Culinary career is all about passion and talent. The ones who are fond of food and cooking often have the highest chance of having job satisfaction if they are choosing this career path. If done correctly culinary career can be the most rewarding and fulfilling career you could pursue.

Having said that, passion and talent alone will not make you a great chef; proper culinary education and guidance take you to greater heights in your professional life.  At ICCA, you don’t just learn cooking; you get to experience the industry in its true form...

So, if you’re an aspiring chef and are looking to know more about culinary education and career, we have compiled some of the most important factors any budding chef would experience at ICCA about being in a professional kitchen.

1. It’s Intense, and be ready to adapt to the pace 



In a commercial/professional kitchen, things are much more intense than your home kitchen, and you can expect the same intensity at the ICCA kitchen as well. You might be quite good in the comfort of your home kitchen; however, in ICCA you will get trained just like how it is done in the industry where everything is 100 times more difficult until you get used to the flow. Keep in mind that we prepare you to be at ease in a professional kitchen when you’re ready to join the industry.

Everything in the kitchen moves at a sprint-like pace just like how it is in a professional kitchen. Your movements, actions, reactions, and even thoughts should be fast enough to cope up with a busy kitchen atmosphere. Also, when in the kitchen, you’ll be expected to figure out everything quickly.

2. You’ll be saying more “Yes Chef!” than the usual “Hellos”


Let’s face it; in a professional kitchen, the chefs are quite strict & tough to maintain a proper workflow which you’ll see in ICCA kitchen as well. Yes, they all are fun to work with but at the same time, they are pretty tough too. So be ready to get yelled at for even the slightest of mistakes you make for which all they want to hear is a “Yes Chef!” in return without any further explanation because that’s how they prepare you for the industry.

3. You’ll learn and know the power of teamwork


Teamwork is the most important factor that helps run a kitchen efficiently. In each and every process you need your team to be with you to execute each day’s tasks smoothly. Amidst all the chaos in the kitchen, you will always find the comfort of your team or batch members to support each other throughout the program, and regardless of how tough the chefs would be, they will be always around to give you all the mental support you need.

4. You’ll get to work with Celebrity chefs from around the world


Being in ICCA, you will never run out of a chance to work with renowned chefs from all over the world. We make it a point to be the main part of all the major international food events that happen in UAE such as Taste, Gulf Food & Gulf Host to provide better industry exposure and experience to our students.

5. Be Exposed to the Best of Food Safety & Precautionary Measures

Pandemic or not, we at ICCA Kitchen have always been committed to the highest levels of health and sanitation practices. Especially, given the current circumstances, we have immensely invested in tools and equipment that will help keep the safety and well being of our team and students.

Our safety measures are in addition to the custom made personal protective gear and temperature checks provided to all the team members and the students on a regular basis ensuring to build a healthier and safer environment to handle food.

6. Last but not least, it’s all hard work and fun here


No matter how intense or difficult the program is, there’s no doubt that you will get to have a lot of fun in the school. The events and the buffet preparations are not only hands-on learning experiences but are also a lot of fun to be a part of...


Your Safety and Wellbeing, Assured

The proactiveness of the UAE's leadership in the management of the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in the absolute containment of the pandemic in the country, along with the top of the line facilities offered, making it one of the safest countries in the world to live in during these uncertain times.

Your safety and wellbeing is paramount for us. Hence, we at the ICCA Dubai have enforced all the COVID-19 prevention & precautionary measures and protocols in line with the latest directives from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), Government of Dubai, and here are some of the standard practices that are strictly followed at the ICCA Dubai on a daily basis -

  • Temperature Monitoring
  • Social Distancing Norms
  • Personal Protective Equipment such as Masks, Gloves, and Facial Visors, and Hygiene practices are strictly enforced and monitored for everyone’s safety.
  • The Disinfection of premises

As the fear of COVID recedes and life bounces back, we are here to make sure you are safe, secure, and confident as you embark on your culinary learning journey.

October 16, 2020

Why the Time to Focus on Plant-Based Cooking Is Now

For most people, a normal meal would consist of cuts of meat, some vegetables, and perhaps some grains or legumes. Today, however, more and more people are making the conscious decision to fill their dinner plates with more plant-based food, which means they are eating less meat, eggs, dairy, and other animal-based products (if they haven't already cut them out completely).

What brought about this change? Primarily, it's a heightened awareness of how diets can affect a person's health and the environment. As a result, plant-based diets have cultivated a significant following all around the world in varying degrees.

If you are an individual undergoing chef training in Dubai, it is crucial to study this evolution of the human diet and to explore ways for the restaurant and foodservice industries to address the demand for nutritious plant-based products and meals.

What is a plant-based diet?

As the name suggests, a plant-based diet is a pattern of eating foods derived primarily from plants. This includes vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, seeds, beans, nuts and oils.

Following a plant-based diet is different from following a vegan diet, as the latter completely eliminates all meat and animal by-products. Plant-based eating means your diet focuses more on foods coming from plants, but also includes meat, fish, dairy and eggs on occasion. It also means that you eat more whole foods rather than processed foods.

What would a plant-based diet look like?

To give you an idea of how you can incorporate more plant-based foods in your meals, check out the following meal plan:

Breakfast options:

  • A bowl of rolled oats with sliced almonds and mixed berries, plus soy milk and a dash of cinnamon
  • A slice of whole-grain bread with avocado and tomato slices

Lunch options:

  • A teriyaki vegetable stir-fry with red, yellow and green peppers, broccoli, fresh ginger root, tempeh, and sesame oil
  • Roasted sweet potatoes with corn kernels, black bean salsa and creamy cilantro dressing

Dinner options:

  • Creamy lentil soup with carrots, chickpeas, kale and cumin.
  • Churrasco-style tofu steaks with chimichurri, roasted vegetables and crusty whole-grain bread

Why should you focus on plant-based cooking?

As a professional taking culinary courses with the goal of being part of the restaurant industry in the future, why is it important to embrace, study and improve plant-based cooking today?

1. To take advantage of the health benefits of going plant-based

A close look at a general vegetarian diet (as well as the popular Mediterranean diet, which follows a largely plant-based foundation while also including food like fish, eggs, poultry, yoghurt and cheese) reveals that eating more plant-based foods can adequately support a person's health because they offer optimal levels of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins and minerals.

Consider the statistics related to plant-based diets and specific medical conditions:

  • A study conducted by the Journal of the American Heart Association in 2019 found that middle-aged adults following diets high in nutritious plant foods exhibited a lower risk of contracting heart disease.
  • Eating a reduced amount of meat has been found by the American Heart Association to lower a person's risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, stroke, obesity, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.
  • A 2018 review of vegetarian diets and the risk of diabetes by authors Melissa D. Olfert and Rachel A. Wattick revealed that plant-based diets could help people with diabetes lose weight, reduce the amount of medication they need, and improve additional significant metabolic markers.
  • An article published in The Permanente Journal providing an update on plant-based diets to physicians suggested that individuals who consumed primarily plant-based diets, compared to people who regularly ate meat, tend to have a lower BMI or body mass index as well as lower rates of diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

2. To cater to the demand of an increasingly health-conscious UAE market

According to Truebell (a leading GCC importer of fast-moving consumer goods that is based in the UAE), plant-based and vegan diets are evidently becoming a major food product trend for 2020 and beyond.

The company's Divisional Manager for Retail & Food Service, Bhushant J. Gandhi, says that vegan and plant-based diets, as well as meat replacements such as tofu, tempeh and seitan, are gaining traction across the UAE. This is brought about by increasingly health-conscious populations who, in addition to being interested in vegan and vegetarian diets, are also curious about other healthful offerings such as gluten-free food, collagen-rich drinks, and organic produce.

In addition, UAE-based frozen food company Healthy Farm aims to convert more meat-eating consumers into plant-based advocates. Jacek Plawa, Healthy Farm's General Manager, predicts that “15-20 percent of meat consumption in the UAE and the region will be plant-based by 2025.”

3. To welcome the emergence of vegan products and plant-based meat alternatives in the UAE

In 2016, a Los Angeles-based company called Beyond Meat launched the first plant-based burger to be sold in meat sections in grocery stores. The brand's patty is nothing like a typical veggie burger. Rather, it is made of pea proteins, coconut oil and yeast extract and is designed precisely to “look, cook and satiate just like a fresh beef burger.”

The Beyond Burger was yet unheard of in the UAE in 2018. However, by November 2019, the product is listed in 60 outlets across the region. This is representative of how more and more UAE cafes, restaurants and hotels are creating menus that include vegan or plant-based products.

Other examples:

  • Flexi Kitchen, a delivery service for "flexitarians" (a combination of "flexible" and "vegetarian" or people who consume mostly plant-based food without completely cutting out meat), launched in late 2019 and has its own version of the Beyond Burger.
  • The Impossible Burger, a soy and potato protein-based burger patty from Impossible Foods Inc., was introduced in the UAE in January 2020.
  • Bareburger, Pickl, Sheikh and Shake, and Nolu's are other examples of restaurants in Dubai and Abu Dhabi where consumers can find vegan meat alternatives.

A Plant-Based UAE

The prominent presence of plant-based offerings in restaurant menus in the UAE points to a growing demand for healthier dining options and an increasingly health-conscious market.

If you are training to become a culinary professional with the goal of working in the foodservice or restaurant industry, or opening your own restaurant someday, it pays to study current dietary trends and consumer behaviour. Learning about ways to prepare and present plant-based ingredients and meat alternatives is sure to prove valuable and rewarding as you progress through your culinary career. Healthy eating is becoming a priority, and mastering plant-based cooking today can be your contribution towards building a healthier UAE in the future.

Get in touch with us at ICCA Dubai for more information on the courses and programs we offer.

International Centre for Culinary Arts Dubai
Block 8 Dubai Knowledge Park

971 445 78811
Copyright © 2020 ICCA Dubai. All rights reserved.