February 22, 2021

Work in 5 Star Properties with 3 Months of Vocational Training

Not everybody wants to become an Engineer, a Doctor, or a Scientist. One can have a great career otherwise too. The key is to learn the knowledge & skills from industry experts to give yourself the right start for a greater career boost.

If hospitality is what you are looking for then what’s better than being a part of the heart of the industry, the kitchen – where beautiful and delicious culinary masterpieces are created. What if we tell you, all you need is three months of intense professional culinary training to be part of this glorious industry that never goes out of opportunities? Want to know more…Well read on!

Working in a swanky hotel, rubbing elbows with the hot shots of the industry is certainly a lovely work environment to be in. With the emergence of so many new luxury hotels happening across the globe, it is definitely time to consider a potentially life-changing career in hospitality.

Let’s explore how to successfully make it to the hospitality industry in three months and the ways your career would unfold giving you an immensely rewarding and satisfying professional experience.  Within just a period of three months of intense and hands-on professional training with industry experience and exposure, you will be ready and up for the challenge the kitchen life has to offer.

If Food is what makes you happy and the kitchen is your calling, then training in Culinary Arts in an institute that is top-notch is what you should be looking for. This will make you not only efficient but also proficient with the required skill sets.

The Career Path of a Chef

For the culinary industry, food is at the heart of everything we do as human beings. If your ambition is to carve out a successful career as a chef and claim the head chef title, you have got to be prepared to eat a lot of humble pies on your way up there.

Understand that there are no shortcuts in this profession. It begins at the base with a not-so-fancy pay and sharp adjustments to be made, which will eventually take you to a whole high of recognition, money, and position depending on whether you have it in you or not.

The general career trajectory of a chef goes as follows;

  • Commis Chef
  • Chef de Partie
  • Sous Chef
  • Head Chef & Executive Chef

As much as the glory of being a chef awaits you at the top position, it is your knowledge, passion and commitment that will pave the way for you to climb that ladder up faster. And, formal culinary training is the way to go about it!

Where do you get your culinary training from?


Look to begin at a place that is the hub of hospitality as it gives you a wider exposure and a great start, to begin with. Dubai definitely enchants as a land of Hospitality and talking of Culinary Arts, ICCA Dubai is the preferred choice for many in the industry and students alike.

ICCA Professional Program in Culinary Arts

If you are looking to start a career as a Professional Chef in the Hospitality & Restaurant Industry or wanting to set up a Food Business of international standards, this accredited and internationally-recognized Professional Diploma Program will set you on the right path.

The Professional Diploma Program is an intensive culinary training program in Cookery or Patisserie based on the Classical Continental Cuisine incorporating all basic to advanced skills & knowledge necessary for Commercial Food Production Operations.

At ICCA Dubai, the specially tailored curriculum is hands-on & intensive with application-focused and industry-centred activities that simulate actual work environment and delivered under the guidance of industry-experienced international chef instructors, certified by the City & Guilds, London.

Kick start your career by joining the program, getting exposure, and gaining hands-on experience in the industry through the internationally recognised Professional Diploma Program at ICCA Dubai.

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.  

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 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.

September 1, 2020

Are You Ready for Culinary School?

Studying the culinary arts is a dream for many people. After all, whipping up delicious dishes, desserts and drinks is surely a pleasant way to make a living. What’s more, the lessons taught to aspiring professional chefs cover more than just cooking. You’ll walk away with multiple skills that can be used not just in the kitchen, but also in real life.

While training to be a professional chef can be quite fun and rewarding, it can also be a trying experience. You’ll find that the journey will test you both physically and emotionally, so it’s best to learn ahead what you’re getting into to see if you have what it takes to pursue it.

Curious to know if you’re ready for culinary school? Here, we tackle three tell-tale signs of readiness and what you can do to prepare ahead of time.

3 Tell-tale Signs That You’re Ready

When thinking about the degree you'd like to pursue or the career path that's right for you, it helps to observe if you possess a healthy interest or the right qualities and talents for a particular field. Try to look for these three signs to determine if enrolling in culinary school is the best step for you to take:

1.) You love to experiment with food

Most people know that a perfectly prepared meal is quite enjoyable, and some can even do a decent job of making it based on a recipe. However, a true-blue professional chef not only sees cooking as a step-by-step process but is also passionate about putting a twist into every meal he prepares.

From coming up with unique flavours to putting extra effort into plating the dishes, you are ready to become a true chef if you find ways to experiment in the kitchen and figure out new ways to apply cooking and food preparation techniques that will enhance the entire dining experience.

2.) You handle pressure well

As mentioned earlier, working in the kitchen as a pro can be exhausting for both mind and body. In short, it is not for people with frail bodies and weak determination and will.

To be ready for the big leagues, you must be able to handle pressure well.

Chefs need the endurance and physical stamina to spend extended hours working quickly on their feet in an environment that is often very hot.

It is also necessary to develop mental and emotional endurance in this competitive environment as expectations are high, and tensions run higher. If you fail in this aspect, you’re likely to make mistakes, run into conflicts with co-workers, and miss opportunities to display your true talents during your shift.

3.) You have a clear culinary goal

Motivation is another key tool that chefs use to rise to the top. This means that to be ready for culinary school, you must have a strong desire to become a professional chef or own your signature restaurant. A clear culinary goal gives you inspiration and direction in your studies, not to mention help you decide on a specialisation or niche.

How to Prepare for Culinary School

After determining if you’re truly ready to spend weeks, months, or years learning how to bake desserts or training to cook restaurant-quality meals, you can spend time preparing for your journey in culinary school.

Assess Your Techniques and Skills

Testing your techniques and basic skills in the kitchen is a great way to measure your readiness for culinary school and pinpoint where you stand in terms of learning. Brush up on your knowledge of the metric system and practice visualising the steps of following a recipe.

Establishing a routine of cleanliness by always clearing your work area as you go is also important for an aspiring chef. Remember that in the kitchen, no task is too small, and keeping a clean workstation is most definitely not a tiny errand.

Review Kitchen Terms

In a culinary school kitchen, you’ll hear a lot of unfamiliar terms that your mother probably didn’t use while she cooked the comforting dishes that inspired you to become a professional chef (that is, of course, unless she is a seasoned chef herself).

Considering this, you should review your culinary vocabulary so you won’t be lost when your culinary instructor mentions specific terminologies. For example, common words like “behind,” “heard,” “fire,” and “stage” have different meanings when used in the culinary setting.

Learn to be a Good Student in the Kitchen

To succeed in culinary school, you have to become a good student in the kitchen. That means following rules and protocols and understanding why they were put in place.

You see, there are only a few dangers in the traditional classroom, whereas, in the kitchen, you will be surrounded by countless hot surfaces and handling equipment such as sharp knives. The kitchen is also the place where food for other people’s consumption is prepared, so safe food handling practices must be observed. Being a good student in the kitchen is tantamount to keeping yourself and others safe at all times.

Practise listening attentively and paying close attention to what your instructor is teaching you. Know and follow all the kitchen safety protocols and continue working towards improvement, even if you get harsh feedback.

Remember that your future as an excellent chef depends on how diligent you are as a student.

Ready to Learn the Culinary Arts?

Learning the culinary arts may not be for everyone. But if you believe you have what it takes, then it makes sense to aspire to become a professional chef. We at ICCA are here to guide you through your journey in achieving your culinary goals. Send us a message to learn how you can enroll today.


August 31, 2020

What Does It Take to Become a Successful Baker?

For a lot of bakers, the dream to pursue the career starts at an early age. Many of them share that their first encounter with baking is by watching the women in their family baking cookies, pies, or cakes, and getting to lick the batter off the spoons and whisks.

After that, they just come to enjoy the intricate process, the delicious scents, and the sweet treats for the family to share. Eventually, they start baking on their own with the help of their family’s collected recipes and cookbooks and find tremendous satisfaction in their baked creations. This satisfaction then breeds the desire to make baking their source of livelihood.

That is just one example of the early beginnings for bakers, and it's an integral element in preparing them for a path in culinary arts. But, naturally, if you want to become a successful professional baker, you can’t just be fuelled by nostalgia. You need to possess other qualities, five of which are discussed below.

1. True love for food

A genuine love for and interest in food are always a prerequisite for anyone to build a successful career in the food industry. You have to love to eat food and make it.

It's hard to be a successful baker if the food doesn't interest you as much. Therefore, a deep interest in and love for baked goods, at the very least, are the perfect foundation for pursuing baking as a career.

2. Willingness to learn

The best bakers are moulded by expert instruction. So, enroll in a baking course offered by a top culinary institution. In these courses, you will learn all the baking technicalities, which you will need to make great-tasting bread, cakes, cookies, and other pastries. More importantly, you’ll find this formal foundation very useful once you start developing your own recipes as a professional, one day.

Aside from formal education, an apprenticeship program is also important. 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.

Learning should be a never-ending process.

To become a successful baker, you need to be humble and recognize that despite your love for baking, your experiences, and all the things you know, there's always room for improvement.

3. Patience

In the kitchen, situations will not always turn out the way you want them to. The best-baked treats usually take countless trials and errors to master.

All the failed outcomes can be quite discouraging, but patience is the best defence. If you are patient, you'll find yourself in the right head zone to keep on working toward your goals. It will be so much easier for you to outwork setbacks, as well as maintain harmonious relationships with the people working with you.

It's important to mention, as well, that patience is one of the keys to happiness in the kitchen. When you're a baker, happiness with what you do is highly beneficial for your professional wellbeing and helps ensure the people who will consume your baked creations find delight in them.

4. High standards of cleanliness

Cleanliness is a vital commitment for bakers. It's not merely a sanitation requirement imposed by the food service industry, but an absolute must.

It's the cornerstone of order in the kitchen and in delivering the highest quality of baked products. As always taught in culinary schools, cooking is all about pre-preparation, and it involves making sure that everything is clean before preparing the ingredients and launching into baking.

5. Creativity

Following instructions in baking is definitely essential in achieving the best product quality and consistency. However, creativity is always encouraged — after all, baking is an art. Once you have a solid foundation in baking, exploring where this can take you is the next step.

As mentioned earlier, you should remember there's always room for improvement and trying something new. The dedication to creating something better and different will keep your passion for baking burning. It is integral to maintaining joy and bringing excitement to every new day in the kitchen.

With baking as your source of livelihood, 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.

Where to Study to Become a Baker

If you have set your heart on becoming a baker, sign up for baking courses in Dubai at the International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA). We are one of the top culinary institutions in the world, and we offer an extensive range of courses for aspiring bakers and chefs.

You can choose from both our certificate and diploma programs. Visit our campus to see our special approach to grooming professionals for the food service industry.


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. We are 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.

Hear from Mariza Attalah, a food enthusiast who learned the technical sides of cooking with the help of Amateur Certificate Program which not only changed her perspective about cooking but also gave her a good exposure into different cultures via food.

If you are a food enthusiast and are looking to learn to cook international delicacies along with learning the technical aspects of food and cooking, then Amateur Certificate Program is something that you may want to explore. Learn to cook and enjoy healthy, exotic and flavourful meals every day at the comfort of your home.

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 savoury 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 flavours. 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.

Savouring Success 

Products of highly regarded culinary academies and institutes such as ICCA Dubai 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.

International Centre for Culinary Arts Dubai
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