October 23, 2021

Baking With Cheese: 3 Mouthwatering Baked Recipes You Don’t Want to Miss

Starting a career in baking means you’ll have to learn all about the different ingredients commonly used in baked goods. Aside from chocolate, there’s one particular item that has grown in popularity among cake lovers and bakers alike: cheese.

Predating recorded history, cheese was invented by accident. It was born from the early human practice of storing milk in containers made from the stomach of animals. Over the years, this dairy product has become widely popular as the perfect partner for wine products and an ingredient for cooking.

In fact, it is not unusual to find such ingredients in bread and other baked products. As proof, below are three classic recipes that use cheese either as a key ingredient or as an added twist to an all-time favourite.

1. Cheddar Cheese Puffs

Made using a pâte a choux dough, cheddar cheese puffs are mouthwatering bites of cheesy goodness that both children and grown-ups will surely love. This recipe yields about a dozen cheddar cheese puffs, making it perfect for picnics and afternoon snacks.

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons or 4 ounces of butter
  • 1 cup of water
  • Half a teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme or rosemary, chopped
  • Pepper, freshly ground (add to taste)

Directions

Put water, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat. Once the mixture starts boiling, reduce to medium heat and add flour while stirring rapidly until the dough pulls away from the sides of the saucepan.

Remove from heat and leave to cool for several minutes. Don’t forget to stir occasionally to ensure the even cooling of the dough. Keep doing this until it is still sufficiently warm but not too hot to cook eggs, which you will soon add into the mixture.

Put the eggs one at a time. Stir after every addition using a mixer or by hand using a wooden spoon until it is thoroughly mixed and reaches a creamy consistency.

Next, mix in thyme, grated cheese, and some freshly ground pepper.

While preheating the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, scoop dough using a spoon to create small balls and arrange on a parchment- or silicone-lined baking sheet at least one inch apart.

Bake in the oven for ten minutes. After the time is up, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit before cooking for another 15 to 20 minutes or until it turns light gold and puffed up.

 

2. Ham and Cheese Pizza

This recipe reimagines the classic sandwich as a cheesy pizza, with a sweet and crisp twist. It has a carefully balanced, rich taste and a palate-friendly combination of savoury ham, gooey cheese, and delicious Fuji apple.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil, divided into 3 teaspoons
  • 4 ounces of fresh baby spinach
  • 1 (about 8 ounces) pre-baked pizza, preferably thin-crust
  • ¼ cup low-sodium marinara sauce
  • 4 ounces of low-sodium deli ham, diced
  • Half-cup (or about 2 ounces) of reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, torn
  • Half-cup julienne-cut Fuji apple (the size of matchsticks)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

Directions

While preheating the oven at 500 degrees Fahrenheit, heat a teaspoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Toss in spinach, stir frequently and cook until completely wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.

Put the pizza crust on parchment paper and evenly spread marinara sauce over it. Then, arrange the ham, spinach, mozzarella, and cheddar over it.

Place the parchment-lined pizza directly on the oven rack and bake for nine minutes at 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure that the cheese has melted or has begun to brown before removing it from the oven.

After taking it out of the oven, top with peppers and apple before drizzling with the remaining oil (about two teaspoons). Finally, cut into eight wedges or as preferred.

 

3. Baked Macaroni With Mortadella and Mozzarella

Love mac ‘n cheese? This recipe gives the crowd-favourite a comforting Italian twist using mortadella and fresh mozzarella.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 pound pork, ground
  • 1 cup of dry white wine
  • 1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • A generous pinch of red pepper, crushed
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 12 ounces of elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons of basil, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley, finely chopped
  • ¼ pound mortadella, cut into small cubes
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

Directions

Heat oil until it simmers in a large saucepan. Sauté garlic and onion over moderately high heat for four minutes or until softened. Add the meat and cook until browned for about ten minutes. Make sure to break up the pork when cooking. 

Next, pour wine and cook until it evaporates after about three minutes. Toss in crushed red pepper, tomatoes, and a generous pinch of salt before bringing to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat with continuous stirring until thickened.

In a small saucepan, boil the eggs over medium-high heat for eight minutes. Then drain the water and cool the eggs under running water before peeling. Chop finely.

While preheating the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, cook macaroni on salted boiling water until al dente. Drain well. Then, stir it into the sauce with the parsley, basil, mortadella, eggs, and ¾ cups of mozzarella, and ¾ cups of the Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Transfer into a three-quart ceramic baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano and mozzarella. Finally, bake for about 25 minutes and set aside for five minutes before serving.

For the Love of Cheese

Children of all ages love cheese, and you’re probably not an exception. 

Whether you’re honing your skills at a baking school or simply enjoying cooking with cheese, consider serving your family and friends some cheesy goodness with the recipes listed in this article.

October 23, 2021

Hello Honey!

Honey is the liquid gold in your pantry. This natural marvel is as sweet as it is beneficial. Whoever said that medicine is always bitter, had not had a taste of the gooey wonder! Thank the busy bees who are seen foraging for nectar and pollen to endow us with this beautiful gift.

From being a natural sweetener, energy and immunity booster to working as the perfect suppressant for a nagging sore throat, the benefits of honey are innumerable. Lending its nutritional excellence and sweetness to the earth, the decadent honey has been imparting us with the gift of a joyous sensory experience as we sink into its purity.

A health benefit apart, the golden nectar has also been lauded for its many culinary boons. Understanding the variants of honey (think Lavender, Italian, Raspberry, Blueberry) is an integral aspect of pairing them well with food. Their characteristic attributes could be fruity and floral, herbal, spicy, deep and earthy ones among others. Note their varying compositions carefully. An appreciation of the nuances of its floral variety could be understood better by frequent honey tastings. 

Once you have understood this, whipping up exciting dishes just gets easier! Think Honey-jack Mexican fondues and Honey Barbecue Spareribs and Chicken. For salads, you can do a Honey Roasted Pear Salad or a Spring Vegetable Salad with fresh cheese and truffle-whipped honey.  An easy-to-do peanut butter and honey sandwich would also work wonders for the hungry gut!

Creamed or spun, honey is also a good choice in baking. Try your hands on Honey-Currant Scones or a Honey-Rosemary-Red Pepper Focaccia. Dessert would be a soul-satisfying affair if you were to try the Honey Macaroon Dessert Pizza. So much for versatility! Delve deeper into the magnitude of taste, benefits and culinary attributes of honey as you craft some gastronomic delights with it. 

A spoonful plain, as an ingredient or as a topping; there is a reason why honey is also used as a word of endearment. It is irreplaceable. More power to you, honey!

October 16, 2021

Turmeric – Golden Goodness of Health

Turmeric is an age-old spice and is well known for its medicinal values. It is scientifically proven that turmeric, a  member of the ginger family can do much more than just boosting the flavours and colour in your food.

Countries like India, Sri Lanka and China have been using this yellow spice for well over 4000 years both for beauty treatments and also to treat a variety of ailments. Curcumin, the main compound in turmeric is what gives that lovely orange-yellow hue to it and carries a big deal of credits for the health benefits that this spice has to offer.

When it is to mention the medicinal properties of turmeric the first and foremost thing to talk about is its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis can benefit a lot from turmeric because of its anti-inflammatory properties. If used on a regular basis you can experience much relief from joint pains as well as any kind of inflammations in your body.  Turmeric also fights cancer and protects against cardiovascular diseases.

Curcumin in turmeric is a great antioxidant and is said to be best used when combined with fat. According to Ayurveda, one of the world's oldest holistic natural healing systems, Golden milk or milk boiled with a pinch of turmeric is a powerful medicinal drink that is good for many ailments. It is most commonly used to soothe a sore throat or cold & flu but is also a very effective pain reliever and a good immune booster as well.

The health benefits of golden milk are not limited to this. It is good for the ones who are suffering from insomnia, it reduces stress, induces sound sleep, helps in good digestion, detoxifies the liver, purifies blood which will keep your skin healthy, accelerates wound-healing and many more health benefits if taken on a regular basis before going to sleep.  

Turmeric is also a natural antiseptic and can be used externally on small cuts or burns as a good disinfectant and it will also speed up the healing process.

After listing out just a few of the endless health benefits of this miracle spice I can only come to a conclusion that if you ever want to try replacing medicine for food then don't look any further; turmeric is the medicinal food to go for.   

September 29, 2021

For the Love of Potatoes

Potato is one of the most widely consumed root vegetables around the world in one or the other form. It’s about time we celebrate them in our foodie world for the amazing health benefits it has to offer. And, it is time to celebrate the healthy and humble potato as well.

Whether it is mashed, stuffed, baked, roasted or fried, people usually consider potatoes as comfort food which is an important staple as well for many, mainly due to its year-round availability.

With regards to the health benefits of this well-liked vegetable, it is to be noted that before its extensive popularity, potato was previously believed to be poisonous and inedible. Only later it was discovered to be a nutritious universal crop produced and sold at a cheaper rate compared to other veggies. Even now potatoes really don’t have a good reputation because of the unhealthy ways of eating them in the form of chips and fries.

We have been told that if a food lacks colour it will probably be lacking some nutrients as well. However, potatoes beg to differ. It contains a wealth of health benefits that make them, even more, an essential dietary staple.

Potatoes are good source of vitamins, potassium, copper, phosphorus, manganese, dietary fibre and it also contains a variety of phytonutrients. Due to the presence of these wide range of nutrients in them, the regular and right intake of potato helps in improving our digestion, cholesterol levels & diabetes will be under control, improves the immune system, good for skin and fight against signs of ageing, reduce blood pressure, helps with insomnia and goof for eye health as well. Mind you, these are just a few of the benefits that we have listed here the actual list could go on for a while.

After reading all of these, it is for you to decide how to include potatoes in your diet to maintain a healthy eating system and also to benefit the maximum from this humble yet powerful energy booster. Don’t be reluctant to enjoy some potatoes for your everyday meals it won’t make you into a couch potato if you eat in moderation.

September 21, 2021

Garlic – Nature’s Wonder Drug

Who would have thought that the pungent-smelling garlic would have a day dedicated to it? And why not? According to the international food calendar, apparently, anything that is edible has a day dedicated to celebrating it, so why not garlic which should be celebrated for the abundance of health benefits it has to offer.

It is surprising to know that the off-smelling garlic belongs to the wonderfully fragrant lily family. But that not-so-pleasant smell is only felt when it is raw; once the garlic is roasted the aroma is irresistibly appetizing. Its aroma is so captivating that it is extensively used in almost all cuisines as a flavour booster. It is not only known for stimulating the food flavours but is also a powerful home remedy for many common ailments.

Garlic is a common ingredient available in every kitchen. From ancient times, it has been a highly valued herbal medicine. In the middle ages, Europeans used to consume whole cloves of garlic to fight against the plague known as Black Death, and it has also been said that in Egypt during the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza, the workers used to eat garlic so as to increase their stamina.

The presence of Allicin, the sulphur compound that is found in fresh garlic has medicinal properties. It has both anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties which are beneficial in the treatment and prevention of several diseases. Garlic has been credited with preventing cancers & heart diseases, lowering high blood pressure & cholesterol levels, building up the immune system and is also good for healthy hair & skin.

Other than the Allicin content, Garlic is a good source of protein, vitamin A, B-1 & C, minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium & zinc, and it also contains 17 varieties of amino acids. It is recommended to be eaten fresh and raw to obtain the maximum benefits out of it especially if it is consumed as a medicine for a particular ailment. Otherwise, the regular use of it through your food is one of the ways to keep your system healthy.

July 18, 2021

5 exciting culinary careers you can explore

We’ve all read about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the hotel and restaurant industry around the world. But there’s a silver lining: despite the widespread repercussions, the region’s F&B industry is on the uptick. Even in 2020, more than 1,300 new restaurants opened in Dubai according to the emirate’s Municipality – that’s nearly 3.5 new openings every day of the year! What’s more, the total number of food establishments in Dubai is expected to cross the 20,000 marks by October 2021!1

This only goes to show that, if you’re interested in pursuing a culinary career, there are a lot of opportunities out there. Whether you’re a passionate home cook, someone who wants to start a career in the hospitality industry, looking to switch jobs or even move up in your professional career, the food industry beckons. Let’s dig a little deeper.

How do you get a job in the food industry?

Just like every other field, the food industry also requires some professional qualifications or certifications before you can be eligible to work in a hotel or restaurant or start a homemade food business of your own.

Discover what qualifications you need to become a chef.

The best place to get yourself one of those qualifications is a certified culinary school or institute. There are a variety of programs you can choose from, including diplomas, certificate courses and even weekend courses.

Explore ICCA Dubai’s acclaimed cooking courses.

Once you’re armed with the relevant qualifications, you need to choose what kind of culinary career you’re looking for. The truth is that many of us only think of professional chefs when it comes to a popular job in the food industry – but there’s a whole lot more than that available!

What are the different types of culinary careers?

Here is a list of the most exciting careers you can explore in the F&B and hospitality industries.

  1. Professional Chef: This is the most obvious one for a reason. If you play your cards right, get the required qualifications and are prepared to put in the hard work, then working your way up the ladder to become a professional chef at a top restaurant is one of the best career choices out there. You’ll start off as a commis chef, which is the entry-level position. From there, you’ll progress onto becoming a chef de partie, a sous chef, a chef de cuisine and then eventually, executive chef.
  2. Personal Chef: As the name suggests, this career is for those who want to work with individual clients: think celebrities and top business people who have their own personal chefs to cater to their and their family’s requirements. Personal chefs can work alone or even have a small team of their own.
  3. Caterer: This is another exciting career opportunity. Every major event, celebration or occasion – whether it’s a wedding or a government exhibition – requires the services of a caterer. A caterer needs to have very good organisational and financial management skills, because you’ll be in charge of everything from planning the meals according to your clients’ preferences and dietary requirements, to ordering the ingredients, preparing the food (either live at the venue or in a hired kitchen), organising the dining area/set-up, and cleaning up after the event.
  4. F&B Manager: This is yet another industry role that’s slightly different from being a hands-on chef. Every hotel or resort requires an F&B Manager who is in charge of forecasting, planning, ordering and organising the purchase, delivery and storage of the various food and beverage requirements of the property you’re working for. This is an ideal career choice for those who love food but aren’t particularly focused on working in the kitchen.
  5. Homemade food business: This one’s perfect for those with an entrepreneurial streak in them. Even before the pandemic, home-based food businesses were on the rise. During and after COVID-19, this trend is definitely here to stay as more and more people explore cooking at home. If you’re an excellent home cook, you can explore opportunities to create unique recipes and products which you can then sell right from your home! Of course, this will require some kind of license to operate from home, as well as other infrastructure, such as an extensive cooking set-up, delivery modes, perhaps an e-commerce website so you can sell your products online, etc.

And there you have it! These are just 5 out of a wide variety of careers you can explore in the food industry. Read stories of some of our past students from ICCA Dubai who’ve gone on to become successful foodpreneurs or find wonderful culinary careers around the world.

Got a question about educational qualifications to become a chef? Drop us a line at [email protected] and our team will be more than happy to get in touch with you and help you out! Or you can always visit our campus in Dubai Knowledge Park for a free tour! Call us on 800 CULINARY to book your tour now!

References:

  1. Khaleej Times, Dubai to see 20,000 food venues operating before October 2021

July 18, 2021

From Seed to Cup: Understanding Specialty Coffee

Coffee is one of the most beloved beverages the world over, across cultures, ages and demographics. We think it’s safe to say that a majority of us wouldn’t be able to start our day without a nice, hot, steaming cup of joe. Is it because of the energy boost that caffeine provides us or that it’s an instant mood enhancer? Whatever the reason, coffee has gone from being just a beverage to something else altogether!

These days, however, a rising trend is seeing coffee aficionados delving deeper into speciality blends and taking ever more care with their morning (or evening cuppa)! To understand more, we asked the experts behind ICCA Dubai’s popular Barista Program, and this is what they had to say.

What is specialty coffee?

The term, first coined by Erna Knutsen in Montreuil, France, in 1978, refers to how special geographic microclimates produce beans with unique flavour profiles, which she called ‘speciality coffees’.

These coffees are at their peak and are unlike other coffee because specialty coffee has been grown at the right altitude, at the correct time of year, in the best soil, and then picked at just the perfect time.

Specialty can only occur when everyone involved in the coffee value lifecycle work in harmony to ensure the specialty coffee beans are always well prepared, freshly roasted, and properly brewed, thereby maintaining standards and excellence from start to finish.

The lifecycle

There are several people that work together to bring you specialty coffees, through the lifecycle of the bean. These are:

  1. The farmer

Spending years, possibly generations, refining and perfecting their approach to growing specialty coffee of the highest quality, they hand over only coffees that are free of defects and picked at their peak of ripeness.

  1. The green bean buyer

Someone who can identify quality through cupping or tasting of brewed coffees, a green coffee buyer can be compared to a sommelier, with a palate as distinguished. They play a big role in communicating the grade quality, tasting notes and descriptions about a coffee to the roaster and barista.

  1. The Roaster

Certified, trained, and with hands-on experience, the roaster is responsible to produce specialty level roast profiles. To ensure the highest standard of quality and flavour come through, they must be closely monitored the roasting process and apply scientific principles of heat transfer, thermodynamics and coffee chemistry to produce specialty coffees.

  1. The Barista

The final professional to guarantee that the specialty bean has completed its lifecycle, the Barista is certified through a training program and is highly skilled in brewing equipment, the origin of the coffee bean and how its flavour profiles will be revealed in brewing. It is the duty of the Barista to ensure the coffee is brewed properly to fulfil its specialty promise.

Coffee in the culinary world

Coffee is not limited to being just a beverage; it’s 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 marinades.

For example, link a particular recipe with coffee shows you a unique use for this amazing bean!

Liked this blog? Follow us on social media to get more such insights! 

July 14, 2021

4 Secrets to Bake the Perfect Loaf Every Single Time

There are few aromas more appetising than that of a freshly baked loaf of bread. Perhaps that explains why baking has exploded in popularity in recent times. The process is simple, the ingredients are easily available, and the effort is not too much.

But there’s also a catch: precisely because the ingredients and method are so simple, even a small mistake can throw things out of whack. Your loaf can turn out dense or flavourless, or break apart like a biscuit.

How to bake the perfect loaf

At ICCA Dubai, we’ve been offering professional and amateur baking courses for 15 years. So, our master chefs are experts in the art of baking bread. We asked them for their secret tips for getting a perfect loaf every time and this is what they had to say.

  1. Use good-quality yeast

Yeast is essential for the bread dough to rise properly. And for that, you need good-quality yeast. It’s always better to test a small batch first to see how the yeast performs. Also, there are different types: active dry and instant yeasts being the most common. You cannot use them interchangeably. So it’s good to spend some time learning more about yeast and seeing what is the best quality yeast available near you. If you have a doubt, ask a local baker or bakery.

  1. Measure accurately (preferably with a weighing scale)

In cooking, you can sometimes play around with ratios and measurements. You can add salt or sugar later, you can adjust as you go along – not too much, of course, but you can still do it. Not so for baking. Baking is an exact science. That’s why our chefs recommend following a baking recipe exactly. Use a weighing scale if you can so you can get everything right to the nearest gram.

  1. Be careful with the temperature of your water

Yeast needs a particular temperature in which to be active. So the temperature of the water you use is crucial. If the water is too hot, you will end up killing the yeast. Too cold and the yeast simply won’t activate. The temperature also depends on how hot it is in your house – a loaf made on a cold winter’s day may turn out different than one baked in peak summer.

  1. Give the dough 2 rises properly

In general, bread doughs need two rises: the first rise after kneading, and the second after shaping. Our chefs say one of the most common mistakes amateur bakers make is getting impatient and interfering with the rise. Once again, the rise time depends on a lot of things: the kind of flour, the type of yeast, the quantity of yeast, how well you’ve kneaded the dough, and of course, the ambient temperature. So you need to give the dough adequate time to finish rising properly both times, else your loaf will not turn out perfect.

With these simple tricks, you can go a long way to perfecting your loaf of bread. Sure, it may take a few tries, but soon you’ll have one recipe that works for you every single time.

If you want to improve your skills, you can consider signing up for an artisanal baking course at our world-renowned campus in Dubai. Get in touch with us today and we’ll give you a free tour of the campus!

And remember to subscribe to ICCA Stockpot, our blog, for more cooking tips and recipes!

July 13, 2021

4 Advantages of Vocational Training vs a College Degree

In a world full of choices when it comes to education, choosing a career path that promises a bright future requires thought. Looking back a few years, it was relatively easier to make that decision as the options available were limited to specific streams and specializations. Today, you have a wide array of options and courses that offer super-specialisations.

Apart from college degrees for mainstream industries like finance, medicine and engineering, there are many Vocational Training Courses that can give you the chance at a lucrative career too.

Here’s an in-depth look into TVET or Technical and Vocational Education Training Programs.

What is TVET?

TVET programs are tertiary education courses that provide industry-related technical skills and training to augment students’ skill sets. The main goal is not to impart theoretical knowledge or gauge students based on exams. Instead, the primary objective is to teach each student the basic skills they need to get a job in their chosen field.

How long has TVET been around?

While its popularity may have boomed recently for various reasons, TVET is not a new thing. It is not even a post-2000s phenomenon. TVET has, Interestingly, been around for a few decades at least.

Many believe that the early IT age of the ’80s and ’90s were the markers for the need for TVET programs and courses. When the IT era started, educational institutions were not yet capable of providing or catering to people who wanted to acquire technical skills and knowledge.

This is why students went to TVET centres to acquire industry-related skills that would help them secure good jobs and progress in their careers.

Which industries does TVET cover?

Today, TVET programs have evolved a lot, and are not restricted to IT alone. Many other industries, such as hospitality, aviation, infrastructure, civil engineering and more also rely on TVET to impart practical skills that a theory-focused collegiate education may not provide.

There are well-established TVET Institutions across the world today that help students gain valuable professional knowledge. This is done by providing a range of internationally recognised and accredited programs that simulate job-specific practical learning and skill-experience to help them better their chances of employment.

4 Advantages of TVET over a College Degree

While we are by no means saying a college degree isn’t worth it, it is definitely important to consider certain advantages that TVET programs offer students, especially those who have chosen careers where on-hand experience and technical know-how matter as much as, if not more than, theoretical knowledge.

So, here are 4 main advantages you get from a TVET Program:

  1. TVET programs are cost-effective

With the cost of college education going up all over the world, there are many eager youths who want to enter an industry but cannot afford a 3- or 4-year college degree from a prestigious institution. TVET Institutes, comparatively, are much more cost-effective for the returns you get.

  1. TVET degrees are as valuable as college degrees

One of the most valuable aspects of going to a prestigious college is that all-important degree, which is recognised and valued by employers worldwide. Well, the good news is that today, properly accredited TVET institutes confer diplomas, certificates and other qualifications that are as widely recognised as a good college degree!

  1. TVET programs are quicker

In a similar vein, most TVET courses are very short. Depending on the depth to which you want to undertake vocational training, some courses can be as short as a few weeks or a few months, as opposed to most college programs, which go on for at least 2 to 4 years.

  1. TVET programs are designed to aid entry into the industry

One of the key drawbacks of college education, especially in developing countries, is that they focus more on theoretical knowledge than hands-on industry applications. This is where TVET courses have a strong advantage. They are specifically designed to make the student employment-ready in their chosen industry. This means the whole course is specifically built around helping you get a job more easily in your preferred field.

How do you choose a TVET Course?

Once you know which industry you want to work in, get a basic understanding of what on-ground skills you will need. At ICCA Dubai, for example, we specialise in accredited courses for those wishing to enter the hospitality industry, either as a chef or as a food entrepreneur.

Once you know which skills you need, identify the correct TVET program that will help you gain those skills.

Then, choose an institute that is well-regarded in its field. You can also choose an institute that is in a popular city because simply being in that geographical location will give you advantages that a more remote location will not.

And last but not least, make sure you apply yourself fully during your course so you can land that dream job fast! All the best!

July 7, 2021

How to Become a Professional Baker in 5 Easy Steps

The COVID-19 pandemic has fuelled a massive rise in home baking. Nearly everywhere you turn, people are baking up a storm in their kitchens! Macarons, bread loaves, cakes, cookies, desserts – even savoury treats like pies and pizzas are galore! And with all this comes the inevitable boom in baking businesses.

So, if you’re one of those who’s been bitten by the baking bug, but don’t know how exactly to convert that passion into a lucrative profession, you’re in luck. Whether you’re a home baker, someone just starting out, or even someone from the industry who wants to branch out on your own, ICCA Dubai is the ideal solution for you.

We are one of the top culinary institutions in the world, and we offer an extensive range of courses for both amateur as well as professional bakers and chefs. Many of our students have gone on to work in some of the most respected hotels in the region, and some of them have even started their own super successful baking businesses!

So now, we’re going to dive deep into how you can become a professional baker.

What you need to do to become a professional baker

If you want to start your own baking business, there are 5 simple steps you need to follow.

  1. Get a professional qualification

No matter how good a baker you are at home, there are some skills and techniques you absolutely need to master if you want to become a pro. After all, at home, if you make a mistake, you can still be proud of your effort. But as a professional, you need to be at the top of your game every day. And the only way to become that good is to take up an amateur or professional course in baking or patisserie

In these courses, you will learn all the baking technicalities, which you will need to make great-tasting bread, cakes, cookies, pastries and more. More importantly, you’ll find this formal foundation very useful once you start developing your own recipes as a professional. If you have questions, get in touch with us and we will be more than happy to guide you.

  1. Consider becoming an apprentice or trainee

Even after you get your professional qualification, you need work experience. Many successful bakers became apprentices or trainees under established bakers, working at stores or restaurants, learning the tricks of the trade.

The opportunity to work alongside experts will help you develop better and more techniques. Another excellent benefit from an apprenticeship program is that industry veterans are very generous in imparting valuable lessons, many of which you cannot find in textbooks. You will also get a sneak peek at how the business operates – and this will be very important to you in future.

  1. Learn business management

Starting your own business requires you to handle a lot of things. You will need to deal with sourcing suppliers, buying ingredients, maybe buying specialised equipment, renting a kitchen, hiring employees, and, last but not least, marketing your product. All this requires some technical knowledge of financial management, employee management, supplier/vendor management, and so on.

You also need to know where you’re going to get the money from to start your business. Are you going to fund it yourself? Opt for crowdfunding? Get family and friends to pitch in? Go to an investor? For all this, doing some research about how to operate a food-related business will go a long way to help you.

  1. Choose a specialisation

You also need to decide exactly what niche you’re going to be operating in. Are you going to bake cakes? Cakes and cookies? Bread? Play to your strengths, but ensure you do not bite off more than you can chew. As a professional baker, you need to be innovative. This way, you'll be able to prevent your menu from becoming stale and keep your offerings relevant, especially if you think about how food trends change so rapidly.

Once you’ve chosen your niche, you can research similar brands in your country or around the world. This way, you can learn how other people made their business work, thus getting some valuable insights for yourself.

  1. Explore additional certifications

There are certain specialised certificates only for baking professionals. When you undergo the process to obtain one, you will not only learn some niche skills but also get a valuable certificate that will enhance your customers’ trust in you. And remember: learning is a never-ending process.

And that’s it! These are the basic steps you need to follow to realise your dream of becoming a professional baker.

If you want a deeper insight, or an opportunity to speak with our chefs and students, please visit our campus in Dubai Knowledge Park, and we’ll be glad to organise a tour for you.

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worldclassculinary
International Centre for Culinary Arts Dubai
Block 8 Dubai Knowledge Park

+
971 445 78811
UAE TOLL FREE: 800 CULINARY
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