July 19, 2020

Learning to Cook!

Cooking is an art that needs both your mind and the soul to be working in perfect harmony. It is one of those few crafts where you use all of your five senses together to get the desired outcome. I am sure none of us would have thought of cooking at such a sophisticated level. Brings us to the question- is cooking all that entirely complex as it sounds? Well, technically speaking yes it is, but again it's not rocket science. Anyone with an aptitude to learn or with an interest in culinary arts can cook. It is also that simple as it is complicated.

If you have that passion and enthusiasm, naturally you will take an initiative to do some trial & errors in your kitchen to learn things. Later, if the activity grips you, you can then master the art by doing a Professional Program in a culinary school as well.

Having said that, it is important to mention that there are some of us who only prefer to cook when there is a necessity which makes you one of those infrequent home cooks. Times, when you don't want to eat out every day or some occasional fancy cooking for your friends and family. For such intermittent yet impressive cooking needs as mentioned above, you don't have to have in-depth knowledge or skill in culinary arts. You can always approach a culinary school like ICCA Dubai that provides courses for beginners and amateurs in various cuisines, at the state of the art facilities.

Gastronomic needs could be different for everyone. It varies from person to person and going to a culinary school to learn, doesn't always have to do with making a career in it. It could be done for just improving your knowledge, to pursue as a hobby or just to have some quality time spent with your family and friends.
Food as they say is essential to life. Therefore why not make it good.

June 30, 2020

5 Rewarding Culinary Careers Outside the Kitchen

Chef? Mixologist? Chocolatier?

Have you ever wondered if there are any other rewarding careers outside the kitchen that are waiting for culinary arts graduates? Do you think taking a culinary course can still land you a job that doesn’t involve actual cooking? Would you like to explore other job opportunities other than wearing a toque and an apron?

Well, you’re in for a treat as we list down some rewarding careers where you can make good use of the culinary classes that you took in culinary school.

Cooking Up Career Choices

Enrolling in a culinary arts institute can certainly cook up rewarding careers in the future. Some will go on to be blue-ribbon chefs. Others will become multi-awarded restaurateurs. Culinary arts school graduates can go forth and pursue their dreams of concocting the most savory dishes and drinks that people will crave for.

However, there could be instances when some people who have culinary arts certificates or degrees would prefer to go on a different path. As evidenced by some, not all those who come out of culinary school would want to pursue a career where they call the shots in the kitchen.

While there are several positions and responsibilities that await proficient bakers, cooks, and culinary geniuses, there are those who would want to explore other career paths. Whether it is a purely personal reason or a professional decision, pursuing a path other than becoming a chef is a journey others make.

If you find yourself curious about what lies outside the kitchen doors, then here are some professions that can help you apply your chef training or whatever culinary course or experience you have under your belt:

1. Caterer

Some culinary arts practitioners do not necessarily want to work in a restaurant. Others indulge in their love for cooking through a catering business. Some may work as consultants and prefer not to work in the kitchen. Whatever your role may be, a career in catering will seriously benefit from the lessons you learned in culinary classes.

Your background in culinary arts can give a boost to your catering business. Whether it’s through curating the menu, talking to food suppliers or clients, or in actual meal preparation, your knowledge about food will work to your advantage.

2. Cooking School Instructor

Those who may already have earned their stars or ones who love to share their knowledge in the culinary arts can also pursue being a culinary school teacher. Some chefs or culinary experts are also asked to be instructors in a cooking school.

This is because their knowledge, coupled with the experience of working in the industry, can greatly inspire and influence budding cooks. Some also just want to express their love for teaching and mentoring, that is why they thrive in culinary institutions.

3. Food Photographer and/or Stylist

A background in culinary arts can be useful when you want to pursue a career in food photography or food styling. A food stylist takes care of making ingredients or a dish look good in photographs. Sometimes, the stylist can also be the photographer in food shoots.

The knowledge you get from your food courses can help, especially in food preparation. 

Understanding the properties of food can help in preparing for a photoshoot as you would know how it could look fresh for longer. Knowing how long a dish takes to be cooked can also help in knowing how far in advance it should be prepared in time for a pictorial. Knowing how an ingredient or dish should look like when it’s freshly baked, for example, can help in photographing it in the best possible light.

4. Food Scientist

You can combine your love for science and food when you pursue this profession. As a food scientist, you contribute to the research and development of effective systems, processes, or technologies that can help food last longer

You can also help find ways on how to process food without losing too much of their nutritional value. Food scientists can also play a part in food packaging, preservation, safety, and other processes that involve the chemical and technical aspects of food.

When you have a culinary arts background, you also know the techniques and skills on how to cook food and create flavorful recipes. This can help in coming up with ready-to-eat meals that are still tasty and nutritious, for example.

5. Food Writer

Five-star dishes and epicurean delights also have their moments in the spotlight with the help of prolific food writers. Being featured in esteemed magazines or society pages can be a welcome boost for restaurants or chefs who want to be known for the quality and excellence of their dishes.

A food writer who has a background in the culinary arts would know how to describe a kaleidoscope of flavors. If you took up a culinary course or have a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts, then you would know how a dish should look or taste like

You can also describe in detail how that dish is prepared, what its background and history are, or the specific techniques used in coming out with such a gastronomical delight.

Savoring Success 

Products of highly regarded culinary academies and institutes can look forward to a fruitful future with their culinary certificates and degrees.

The knowledge, skills, and experience you earn while in culinary school can arm you in whatever profession you choose to pursue. 

Coupled with a steely determination, commitment, and an unswerving drive to deliver good food in whatever way, culinary specialists can decidedly reap the rewards of their efforts.



June 28, 2020

Understanding Artisanal Cooking: An Easy Guide

The term “artisanal” is everywhere these days, with large corporations sticking it onto a variety of products. Unfortunately, just calling something artisanal does not transform it into a truly artisanal product as it is not merely a label — it is a whole approach to food. 

Whether you are considering taking cooking classes in Dubai or you simply want to understand what a chef is referring to next time you browse a menu, keep reading to learn more about artisanal cooking. 

1. What is artisanal cooking?

First and foremost, you are going to want to know precisely what artisanal cooking is. While there is no official definition, “artisanal” refers to something handcrafted. At its core, artisanal cooking requires a deep understanding of the craft of making food, as well as a sincere love for the products you are making and the people who will consume them. 

Throughout history, the term “artisan” has been given to people who produce something valuable for their community and are dedicated to continually improving their craft. The authentic meaning of artisan alludes to a time when individuals took pride in their work, and most of the food consumed was not overly processed and mass-produced by big corporations. 

Artisanal cooking combines this knowledge and passion with locally sourced, organic ingredients from producers who also care about what they are producing. This short supply line maximises the profit for farmers, is better for the environment, and ensures that chefs and diners have the freshest produce possible. Many consumers around the world are willing to pay more for food and meals that are handcrafted with high-quality ingredients.

2. What types of foods are artisanal?

In modern times, artisanal has become a synonym for small businesses and creators attempting to maintain the traditions of previous generations. Today's consumers are looking for a connection to the food they eat because they want to feel that what they are eating is made by real people and not machines. If a food is considered artisanal, it means that there has been a real human being actively involved in creating it. In other words, foods and beverages that are mass-produced cannot be genuinely artisanal. 

Generally, any food that is considered artisanal must be made in a small bach by a craftsperson. For example, items such as cheeses, cured meats, chocolates, breads, and jams can often fall into this category. Additionally, fresh baked goods, juices, olive oils, and goat milk can be considered artisanal in countries such as the UAE. What differentiates artisanal products from mass-produced ones is that flavours and processes are gradually developing naturally. 

If you want to know whether or not a food product is artisanal, ask yourself whether or not a real person made it with care and whether or not it was made by hand in small batches using specialty ingredients. Additionally, consider whether the product reflects expertise, tradition, and passion. If you can answer yes to all of these things, then you have an artisanal food product. 

3. How is an artisanal cooking process different?

The process of artisanal cooking is significantly different from the industrial process of making food. In fact, the process is one of the determining elements of artisanal products. As an artisanal chef or food producer, your production process has minimal automation, limited labour division, and a small number of highly skilled craftspeople rather than the large, less-trained workforce of industrial food producers and chefs. 

For example, to cook an artisanal pasta dish, the chef will first make the pasta from scratch. This includes mixing the dough, creating the shape, cutting it, and leaving the pasta to dry. Once this has been done, the pasta can then be cooked and eaten. Of course, this process is time-consuming and requires the appropriate ingredients and tools. However, it is generally agreed that hand-made pasta has a superior flavour and consistency to boxed pasta, and better complements the pasta sauce.  

4. How can I learn more about artisanal cooking? 

One of the best ways to learn more about artisanal cooking is to take a trained chef's cooking class. For example, the International Centre for Culinary Arts offers students world-class culinary learning experience. In addition to the Professional Diploma Program and the Amateur Certificate Program, ICCA also offers specialised artisanal courses that enhance your understanding of artisanal cooking art, craft, and science. 

Learn from the best

Whether you are a professional chef or a budding entrepreneur, or you simply have a personal interest, you can benefit from one of ICCA's artisanal hands-on courses. From an artisan bread making course in Dubai to a professional chocolatier programme, from artisan gelato classes to barista training, there is certainly a course for you. 

To enhance your skills and deepen your artisanal cooking knowledge, reach out to ICCA today to learn more about the artisanal cooking courses on offer. If you are ready to be a master of your craft, don't waste one more day. 


June 9, 2020

Passionate About Food? Start Your Career In Culinary With ICCA Dubai

If you are passionate about Food, professional knowledge and an internationally recognized qualification in the Culinary Arts opens doors to a foray of exciting careers in the Hospitality Industry!

Considered ‘The Hospitality Hub of the World’, Dubai is home to some of the finest Hotels & Restaurants in the World. Located in Dubai, The International Centre for Culinary Arts houses its State of the Art Facility in Dubai Knowledge Park, the World’s only Free Zone dedicated to Learning Excellence.

A key factor that contributes to the authenticity and the quality of education is the accreditations & recognitions of the programs delivered.


City & Guilds, London Approved & WorldChefs Recognized 

City & Guilds London

Recognition of Quality Culinary Education

The ICCA Dubai is a City & Guilds London Approved Centre delivering City & Guilds accredited International Vocational Qualifications (IVQ) and Certifications for its bespoke programs as a City & Guilds London Accredited Centre.

Furthermore, The ICCA Dubai has been awarded the “Recognition of Quality Culinary Education” by the World Association of Chefs Societies (WorldChefs).

The “Recognition of Quality Culinary Education” Award seeks to recognize Training and Education that meets or exceeds the Culinary Standards Education established by WorldChefs. The WorldChefs Recognition provides a competitive advantage and assures employers of a candidate’s quality culinary education.

If you are passionate about Food and are looking to jump into the Culinary Industry, the below listed are the various programs that the ICCA Dubai has to offer -


1. The Professional Diploma Program

career in cooking


The Accredited Professional Programs in Cookery or Patisserie (Pastry) or both, is an intensive Vocational Education Training (VET) program of 620 hours (Cookery or Pastry alone) of guided learning in Classical Continental Cuisine and industry-centered training is delivered by City & Guilds London certified trainers.

The comprehensive training curriculum focuses on the development of Food Production Skills, Product Creativity, Multitasking Abilities, Interpersonal Skills, Supervisory & Leadership Strengths that will help with students seamlessly integrate, effectively deliver and excel in the Food Industry.

After graduating from The Professional Programs, one will be eligible for The Industrial Work Experience Placement (IWEP) Program. The ICCA’s extensive network with the Hospitality Industry in the region and the Cruise Line Industry provides the students with an opportunity to launch their career in the Hospitality, Restaurant and Cruise Line Industry Internationally.

The ICCA provides coordination & support for the first IWEP Program on a ‘No Cost Basis’, for the Commis Chef (III, II or I) levels in the UAE / GCC Countries or as Assistant Cooks on Leading International Cruise Lines.

The said IWEP Process & Position are subject to the successful completion of the course program and the Aptitute, Attitude & Skills set demonstrated by the candidate at the Placement Interviews, Trade Tests and clearing the associated Age, Visa, Statutory & Medical Conditions.


2. The Amateur Certificate Program

amateur program


The Accredited Amateur Programs in Culinary Techniques are aimed to provide hands-on skills, knowledge and the confidence to create outstanding culinary creations in Cookery or Baking & Patisserie (or both).

While The Cookery Curriculum is based on Classical & Contemporary Preparations and creating varieties of Delicate Appetizers & Scrumptious Main Courses, The Patisserie Curriculum is based on an absolute focus on Detail & Technique to get the Product right from Delicate Crepes & Soufflé to Cakes and Parfaits.

Apart from learning to execute Standard Recipes, Food Safety & Safe Food Storage, this program incorporates many of the 250 essential techniques introduced in Classical Culinary Arts!


3. The Artisan Bread Program

artisan bread making


This course gives you the Knowledge, Skills and Understanding of the Techniques involved in the Art of Artisan Bread Making and teach you the Fundamental Techniques & Knowledge to make your own style of Bread.


4. The Artisan Chocolate Program

artisan chocolate making


If learning to mold and creating your own chocolate fantasy is what you are looking for, then look no further...

From getting to know the History & Processing of Chocolate to making Truffles with Traditional & Exotic Blends to Coloring & Flavoring, this course will give you the Knowledge, Skills and Understanding of molding your own Chocolate!


5. The Artisan Sugarcraft Program

The Sugar Craft Programs are specially designed for those interested in Creative Sugar Art Styling & Cake Decoration, as an Amateur or a Professional.



These courses incorporate a Combination of Techniques and Creative Styling, with a Professional approach, teaching intricate skills, a wide range of Presentation Techniques, Product Packaging, Business Essentials and Pricing Guidelines.


5. The Artisan Gelato Program

artisan gelato


The ICCA Carpigiani Gelato University - Dubai, is an Official International Partner Campus that delivers the complete curricula in its state of the art and full range Gelato Training Facility!

Carpigiani Gelato University - Bologna, Italy is recognized as the most prestigious Gelato School in the World for Artisan Gelato and renowned to produce the most number of Gelato Entrepreneurs, the world over.


6. The Artisan Pizza Making

artisan pizza

In collaboration with The Scuola Nazionale di Pizza, The ICCA provides courses in Artisan Pizza Production in its State of the Art Training Facility and is committed to the Professional Development of Authentic Traditional Italian Pizza Production Skills in the region.


7. The Barista Program

barista program


These programs are not only designed for the aspiring professionals but also for the Coffee Enthusiasts and incorporates Comprehensive Training and Education in Barista Skills to Business Management!

Whether you aspire to pursue a career in cooking and become a Professional Chef in a 5 Star Hotel or want to get your fundamentals right as a Passionate Amateur, ranked amongst the Top 10 Culinary Schools in the World, The International Centre for Culinary Arts Dubai is your one stop for a World-Class Culinary Experience!

June 9, 2020

Seven Essential Entrepreneurial Skills To Run A Business

Success goes beyond hard work, resilience and expertise. It demands the understanding and proficiency in a fundamental set of business skills. In other words, it requires you to become a jack-of-all-trades and knowing which skills you have to learn early on can make all the little difference to turn your business adventure into a successful one.

Although running a business will get you on a rollercoaster of a continuous learning process, the list of skills mentioned below will give you a good idea on the kind of skills and techniques you need and how to run a small business successfully.

1. Communication, Networking & Negotiation


As a business owner, small or big, learn to build good and long term relationships with the people you meet. Even if you don’t get what you want from a person, keep your terms healthy by always staying on good terms because you never know what might come around in the near future.

And, to begin thinking of networking without sound communication is out of the picture. To be successful in business, you need to learn to communicate well. You need to be able to communicate fluently, effectively and efficiently, be it your customers, suppliers, employees or investors. This includes both, spoken and written communication skills. Learning the ability to communicate well even with your team enhances their ability to work and improve their productivity levels, leaving very little room for error. Learn to keep your communication precise and clear about your expectations, be sensitive when dealing with problems and build the skill to effectively communicate your vision, with passion and conviction.

When it comes to negotiation, it is a life skill that almost everyone has without even being aware. But, it is a skill that should be mastered through experience and with practice. The key is to learn when to say what, and come with a win-win approach to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome.


2. Hands-on Skills 

hands on


While you might already have a college degree, it only gets the theory in place. Instead, once you have had your brilliant business idea, to really spark the engine and put it to work, focus on gaining application focus and industry exposure centered around the concept of ‘learning by doing’ and getting hands-on skills to run your business increase the chances of your venture to become a successful one.

For example, if you want to start a Food Business, having a thorough knowledge of how the industry works can go a long way in making your business successful. Taking up a vocational course in the niche of your business operations will help you get a complete understanding of your products and services, enabling you to get the bigger picture of your business, the direction you want to take with it, the pain points & needs of your customers and the market as a whole.

Being an aspiring entrepreneur, hands-on skills are what will help you go the extra mile with your customers because you know the ins and outs of your products and this will allow you to offer the best experience to your customers.

As a centre of excellence for professional chef training and vocational education in the region, ICCA Dubai is positioned in the Food Industry as an industry expert and provides a world class culinary experience.

The Professional Programs offered at ICCA Dubai equips you with the right set of hands-on skills and knowledge to help set-up your very own Food Business.


3. Focus, Discipline & Decision Making



As a business owner, you need to stay focused and objectively assess your position in the market and visualize the future growth & direction of your business. Today, we no longer live in the age of information overload. Staying disciplined is no doubt a critical factor to the success of a business, and yourself as an entrepreneur. Everything can be organized efficiently if you are determined to adopt discipline in your business.

Lastly, learn the art of making smart decisions. Think logically, question what is real and what isn’t, reason rationally, understand professional relationships and take well thought & firm decisions.

Focus on the tasks that need immediate attention and find a way to clear the noise distracting you from doing it. And, always remember that if you can’t get things done, somebody else who is more focused and disciplined will. Most probably a competitor…


4. Business Planning & Management

business planning


Every business follows a plan, even if it is not a documented one. Developing the skill to plan & formulate and strategize & change your business plan is a skill you are going to have to learn as an entrepreneur and a business owner. The moment you choose to start your own business; it goes without say that you will have to manage a wide range of projects. It is the art of strategic planning and implementation that what will draw the line between you and the amateurs. Learn to effectively manage time, money and all your other business resources to create a balance in your overall business plan. Stay focused on making small, but quality progress everyday towards the big picture, take quality time-off periodically to think about the larger goals of your business to retrospect whether your efforts are in line with your vision for the business or not.

Some other key aspects that comes under management are Delegation and Time Management. Micro-managing and failing to delegate tasks is a trap a lot of the new business owners fall into simply because of their reluctance to let go of control.

Being the head of the business, your time is invaluable. Learn to manage it wisely, delegate the tasks that someone else in your team can do or even consider outsourcing the task and oversee it periodically to make sure it is headed in the right direction.


5. Finance & Cash-flow Management



Finance Management broadly comprises of understanding the differences between income, expenditure and the risks of investment involved. It means applying a set of techniques to manage the money of your business.

Cash is the lifeblood of your business and is acknowledged as the single most pressing concern of any small to medium-sized business. The ability to effectively manage the finances of your business is indispensable as sound financial skills go a long way in helping you run the business profitably and protecting your investment.

You should be able to confidently forecast your business’ cash flows, sales, profits and losses because the effect of cash flow on your business is real and immediate, and failing to manage it smartly & efficiently is extremely unforgiving. Learn to monitor, control, protect and getting the most work out of your cash.


6. Marketing & Sales



It goes without say that you should know the ins and outs of your products, their selling prices and production costs. You will need basic marketing skills to start & run your business, and given that you are most probably going to have a small marketing budget, you will have to be creative in marketing your business as well.

Take the time to anticipate & analyze competition in the market, trends in your industry and create a marketing strategy that highlights your USPs (unique selling propositions) and communicates a compelling message in the market to your target audience.

It is very important to promote your products effectively, provide good customer service and have a sound marketing strategy in place. If you have a bigger budget, consider hiring a freelancer or even a marketing agency to start creating blogging content and running campaigns to build new profitable revenue streams for your business.


7. Leadership



In the business language, it is the ability of motivating people to get jobs done. Seen as a critical management skill, Leadership enables you to take charge, assemble, mobilize and motivate your team members. Being an aspiring entrepreneur, it is a skill that you need to possess and build upon to get your team to work as hard as you, and make the business successful.

The difference between a good leader and a great leader is that the latter knows when to be the boss and when to be a team player, has good delegation skills and is focused on both, the short as well as the long-term goals of the business. Leadership is one of the most valuable skills you can have. It enables you to motivate your team and bring out the very best of them and even improves the overall productivity & output of the business. As a leader, learn to also take some time out to mentor and coach your team.

To learn more about how to start a Commercial or Home Food Business, read our blog post on 'The Secret Skills of Starting a Successful Food Business'.



June 8, 2020

Wanting To Join Cooking Classes? Don’t Let These Challenges Stop You!

We all have our passions, a dream, a desire that we are expressive about or secretly hold in our hearts. It could be something really really small or it could be something so big that it scares the daylight out of us.

Whatever that might be, however small or no matter how big, you need to take some concrete steps towards your passion or else watch them wither & wilt. The scary part – if the dreams die down, so does your zeal for life.

There is a reason why we have an ambition in life, a desire or a passion if you may call it that. These aspirations give our life its meaning, its purpose. I’d rather have a dream to lead me than live a life without direction that goes on in a mundane routine, with nothing accomplished, nothing satisfying at the end of the day.

Challenges sometimes will be a part of getting what you really crave for, but every challenge comes with a way out. Every lock has a key; you only need to find the one that unlocks the door to your dreams.

Let’s talk about being passionate about food in particular. If you want to learn more on food and want to make it a career or even take it up as a part-time business or hobby, you should consider taking up a course that hones your skills & equips you to be better at what you like to do.

A skill is better learnt the right way, as the difference is very striking when you do things the way they are meant to be.

If you have some thoughts weighing you down; let us look at the probable challenges and the possible solutions to the roadblocks, if any.

#1 – I don’t have the time. I have a very hectic schedule with work/family commitments...

no time

Solution - Look for a course that offers you weekend/part-time options instead of full-time regular cooking classes. It is easy to accommodate & follow up on a class once a week amidst our busy schedules. Things that we are keen on, do find a way in spite of the demanding agendas we have on our list of activities.

#2 – Family resistance and / or societal pressures

family pressure

Solution - If you feel so strongly about your zeal for all things culinary, you must go ahead and do what gives you the fervor and enthusiasm to be yourself. Be You, the world will eventually not only adjust but go on to acknowledge you, as well.

#3 – I do not have the means or enough resources to pay the fees...

no money

Solution - Take a study loan, look for a course that offers installment payment options, or save up enough monies to enroll for one. If this is your burning desire than money is the easiest of worries to work around. Look for a course that is short and gets you equipped quickly so that you can start earning as soon as possible without having to wait long.

#4 – I am too old to learn or do something new...

never too old

Solution - That’s only a mindset. And that can be changed. Look around you and you will find countless inspirational men & women who have given themselves a gift of something they loved irrespective of their age. It is you who decides how old you want to be and feel. Go ahead and join the new age seniors, where age is no bar to your dreams.

#5 – Yes I’m passionate about cooking, but I’m not sure of the way ahead...

passionate about cooking

Solution - The good thing is that you don’t always need to know. The important thing is that you must take the first step towards what you like and then ways will automatically open up for you. Opportunities will present itself or you will know what exactly it is that you need to do next.

A journey always begins with a first step. You won’t get anywhere if you stay put and will always remain just where you are. And you don’t need that.

Whatever your challenge, you are actually stronger than you think you are. Don’t run away from them, run over them and you will direct yourself to a totally different life. Let your passion for cooking be the flame that lights up a whole new experience, a whole new dimension and a whole new you.

Check out the real story Malavika Raghavan, an alumnus of ICCA Dubai Professional Program and how she pursued her passion for baking and went on to become a full time Foodpreneur!

The Story of Malavika Raghavan - From a Marketing Professional to a Successful Foodpreneur

See you on the other side of glory!!

May 29, 2020

3 Ways to Build a Fulfilling Culinary Career

Are you a chef who wants to step up the culinary career ladder? Have you always been interested in building a culinary career? Or are you a chef who still thirsts for new knowledge to make your vocation more fulfilling?

From taking advanced cooking classes or professional chef courses to building healthy ties with your peers, there are ways that you can achieve a truly satisfying culinary career.

Prepare the Ingredients

Building your culinary career is the same as putting together a wonderful meal. You need to prepare the necessary ingredients so you can cook up something delicious. Aside from the knowledge of how to prepare a meal, you must also have the right attitude while you get it ready for serving.

Whether you are an amateur foodie who wants to get into the world of Culinary Arts, or you are already an accomplished chef, there are still things that you can learn every day. If you’re at the bottom rung of the professional kitchen hierarchy, you can definitely learn from your more senior colleagues. If you are a seasoned chef, you might still be looking for that certain ingredient to make your culinary career more gratifying.

Regardless of where you are in your culinary journey, there are still doors left for you to open. There are still lessons to be learned along the way that will spice up your culinary adventure. From taking professional chef courses to arming yourself with positive attitudes and habits, you can surely attain the peak of your profession with a happy and fulfilled heart.

Below are some simple but effective ways to build a fulfilling culinary career:

1. Invest in Continued Learning

Even if you have completed several cooking courses or have been cooking all your life, you can still benefit from enrolling in professional culinary programs. There are plenty of cooking institutes and centers dedicated to providing continued education in the Culinary Arts.

There is good reason to invest in further instruction or advanced training. Similar to other professions, there are also different branches in the culinary sphere. Chefs have different specialties – there are those who are skilled in the art of making sushi, some are talented in baking, others master specific cuisines, and so on and so forth.

Those who want to learn about a specific skill or improve their proficiency in a particular subject matter can enroll in specialised classes. For example, you can take artisanal courses such as artisan bread making, gelato making, chocolate making, or sugarcraft. If you want to venture into concocting beverages, you can then enroll in mixology and bartending classes.

Whether you have graduated from international academies or have learned to cook through informal settings, taking supplemental culinary classes can help boost your career. Certification programs and courses on different specialisation can also broaden your knowledge and skills.

2. Learn From Others

Aside from taking classes, you can also improve your culinary skills by learning from your peers.

One of the ways you can do so is to look for a mentor in the field. You can learn valuable tips and tricks gleaned from their years of experience. Aside from the technical know-how that your mentor can pass on to you, you can also learn from their personal experience about how it is to move within the industry.

Another way is to join a professional organisation. By being a member of a culinary association or federation can open up a world of opportunities for you. Not only can you find like-minded individuals who share the same passion for the culinary craft, but you can also make use of this to widen your network for future entrepreneurial ventures. 

Some professional groups also organise regular training sessions or conferences that will keep you updated on the latest trends. Being in the loop will help you stay relevant and might even help you think of new ways to improve your craft.

Other culinary practitioners also do not hesitate to get practical work experiences. Even some veteran chefs still take on internships or apprenticeships under the tutelage of other seasoned chefs. For instance, a pastry chef wanting to learn the intricacies of Chinese cooking can apprentice under a renowned Chinese cuisine chef.

3. Be Patient, Intentional, and Thankful

Having a positive attitude is one crucial ingredient when creating a fulfilling culinary career. You must have a good mix of commitment, optimism, and patience to see yourself through.

Success takes time. For most, years of intensive training are needed to become proficient in one field. You have to understand that you do not just wake up one day knowing the ins and outs of cooking.

You also have to be intentional. You must set a realistic goal and actively engage in strategies that enable learning. There must be some tactical structure to your learning process to achieve the goal that you want.

Having an attitude of gratitude will also help you appreciate what you have. This will help you avoid feeling empty when you think things aren’t going your way.

Cook Up Success

If you want to get ahead with your culinary career, then you can take hold of the reins and try the suggestions provided here. You may need to take things one step at a time, but you will eventually get there as long as you remain dedicated to pursuing your passion for creating gustatory delights. Cooking food that is good for both body and soul can certainly help you in feeling fulfilled.

Get in touch with us at the International Centre for Culinary Arts - ICCA Dubai to learn more about our available courses.

May 27, 2020

How to Choose the Right Culinary School in Dubai for You

If you’re planning to pursue a career in the culinary arts, there will come a time when you’ll be asked whether you’ll attend a culinary school.

Many old-school chefs attest to the importance of real-life experiences you can only get from working at an actual restaurant. In fact, some of them might even claim that this is much more critical than anything you’ll ever learn inside a classroom.

Industry experience is necessary to become a great chef. However, a lot of present-day culinary gurus hold culinary degrees and diplomas, sparking an emerging pattern of success that has eventually made formal schooling a necessary investment for aspiring chefs.

In short, since more top chefs graduate from culinary schools, they are more likely to hire people with similar credentials.

All cooking schools offer training on the basics of the trade, but they vary in terms of teaching beyond those foundational techniques. This is why figuring out which culinary school in Dubai suits you best requires a lot of effort, time, and research.

To help you out, here’s an article designed to serve as your guide in choosing which culinary school to enrol in, according to your circumstances.

1.) Consider the Areas of Speciality Being Offered

One important thing that potential students must consider when choosing a culinary learning institution is the available areas of specialization being offered. This means that at least one of the culinary programs being offered at a school you plan to enrol in should be aligned with your interests.

You see, the different specializations provide chefs with the necessary drive to tread the career path they’ve chosen. It gives them direction and fuels their journey with interest and passion. This is why culinary students who have chosen their specialization beforehand are more likely to become successful both in their studies and future career in culinary arts.

2.) Know the Differences Between Various Cooking Schools

There are plenty of schools that offer programs related to cooking, but do you know that an institute, a school, and a class in culinary arts have different characteristics?

Culinary institutes provide cream-of-the-crop learning for serious up-and-coming culinary professionals who want their skills honed and certified. These establishments usually offer diploma, degree, or certificate programs that can last for as short as two months or as long as four years.

Meanwhile, cooking schools are establishments that are smaller than institutes, but offer specialized training for their students. This type of establishment only offers certificate or diploma programs, with program lengths ranging between two months to four years, as well.

Cooking classes, on the other hand, are the simplest and shortest out of the three. These don’t award diplomas after completion, but they can provide additional knowledge for serious cooks who want to apply what they learn in their own kitchens. These often come in the form of short seminars and training that lasts between one or two days to two months.

3.) Factor in the Cost and Length of the Program

Now that you know the difference between cooking institutes, schools, and classes, it’s time to consider the cost and length of the program you should enrol in.

If you’ve already figured out that you want to cook for a living, then degree programs are the better choice for you. Although these require more time and may cost more, too, these programs offer comprehensive education in the culinary arts, making them the most viable option for serious chefs.

But if you’re planning a career shift from an entirely different industry to cooking, diploma programs are the better choice since these can be completed in less than a year. These programs are also the most viable option for people who are looking to start working in the culinary industry as soon as possible.

4.) Look for Accreditation

One thing that can help ensure that you get the best possible education from a culinary school is their accreditation.

Take institutions in the United States, for example. Establishments offering culinary courses that have accreditation from the American Culinary Federation (ACF) have better reputations. This is because they undergo a rigorous evaluation that checks their facilities, curriculum, certification of instructors, and student-teacher ratios, among others.

In short, accreditation serves as a seal of approval from authorities in the culinary industry. This will give you the confidence and peace of mind that the accredited establishment you enrol into – whether it’s a full cooking course or a specialized pastry programadheres to the best practices and standard of instruction for the best culinary arts education.

Here at ICCA Dubai, all our programs are accredited by the City and Guilds, London. We have also been recognized by the World Association of Chefs Societies (WorldChefs) and the programs delivered here are approved by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) of the Government of Dubai.

5.) Check Their Industry Reputation

By definition, reputation covers the image a culinary school maintains. It is an explicit attribute that can be determined through reviews and testimonials from former students.

It also covers the role the culinary school is playing within the community. This includes factors like:

  • Student placement in jobs and externships
  • Student-to-teacher ratio

This information should be easily accessible via the school website or social media channels. It can come in the form of pictures and videos, as well as third-party reports.

6.) Ask About Their Graduates 

Aside from asking about career services culinary schools can offer, you should also find out what their alumni are doing after finishing specific cooking programs. 

Focus on their typical alumni and avoid lingering too much on the famous chefs and biggest success stories attached to the name of the school. This way, you’ll get a more authentic view of what your career could potentially be after you finish the program.

Enrol at ICCA Today

Whether you’re planning a career shift or just figuring out what you want to do in life, the path to the culinary industry is a viable option you can consider, especially if you have a keen interest in the culinary arts. While it may be challenging at first, choosing the best school to trust with your education can affect your success rate greatly.

Make an inquiry at ICCA today to find out how you can achieve your dreams in the culinary arts.

May 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 specialty 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 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.  

March 2, 2020

Benefits Of Learning Artisan Pizza Making

Pizza, the world’s favourite food is undoubtedly a crowd pleaser, being one of the reasons for the increasing number of pizzerias all over the world. It is one of those foods that have been accepted worldwide for its taste and ease of consumption. Having said that, it is important to mention that pizza making is not as easy as it seems like. It is an art of mastering the kneading and tossing techniques to get that perfect crust and learning about the best blend of ingredients to make a scrumptious topping.

While the question of pizza being a junk or a healthy meal is still under debate, we believe that if pizzas are made in the authentic Italian way with the finest quality of fresh and local ingredients then there arises no question of it being categorized as junk. After all, it is a traditional artisanal product of Italy, and how can traditional food be as bad as the fast-food of today?

Artisan Pizza with Tomatoes

Learning to make pizza in the right traditional way allows you to choose the ingredients of your choice and you can make it as healthy as you like it to be. This way you can not only enjoy a guilt-free treat but can also let your family have a healthy approach to the so-called junk.

Culinary schools such as ICCA Dubai offer the art of authentic artisanal pizza-making from the Italian Pizza Masters themselves at the professional and entrepreneurial levels. It is a program that covers the various traditional and contemporary techniques to make authentic Italian pizza, researched, developed and formulated by Master Pizza Maker Angelo Lezzi, President of API (Associazione Pizzerie Italiane).

Artisan Pizza Making at ICCA Dubai

As an artisanal pizza-making student, you will get hands-on training from the dough making to the execution stage of a perfectly baked golden pizza crust topped with fresh and seasonal ingredients. The program will help you learn more about flavour combinations, dough proving, kneading and the various other techniques involved in the making of an artisanal pizza.

When it comes to an entrepreneurial level of learning, apart from learning the basic methods of pizza making, you will also be exposed to food safety, dough management, and cost control. And, with an excellent team of pizza masters from API, Italy to assist and train you during the course period, there’s no doubt you will benefit much more than you expected from the Artisanal Pizza Making program.

International Centre for Culinary Arts Dubai
Block 8 Dubai Knowledge Park

971 445 78811
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