Career Interviews

Become a Chef | Career in the World of Cuisine

Executive Chef, Paul Noronha
“Being a chef never seems like a job, it becomes a true passion.” – Gordon Ramsay

Armed with a diploma in HMCT&AN and Kitchen Management Training Program with ITC Hotels and over 22 years of work experience, Paul Noronha, Executive Chef, ITC Kakatiya has seen a plethora of changes in the hospitality industry.

“A career in food service is more than a job—it is an extension of life. The best chefs understand the relationship between food and humanity; they understand the deep history of culinary tradition; and they know that preparing good food is more than copying a recipe,” says Paul while interacting with Brainfeed.

Excerpts:

What inspired you to pursue the career as a Head Chef?

 Food is relative. To each individual customer, there are different tastes and needs to be catered to.  To deal in the business of food it’s very important to be able to translate a meal into an entire dining experience, and being head chef of a kitchen allows me to guide my team into achieving this goal. The art of cooking and the hard work that’s put into creating lasting impressions on the guest is what inspired me to pursue the role of Head Chef.

What challenges you face in pursuing this career?

What many don’t understand is that the difference in responsibility and what a chef will face is monumentally different from a cook. All chefs are cooks because that’s what we do, we cook. But you become a chef when you’re running a kitchen. To reach the pinnacle of a cook’s career and become a chef means that a new set of skills, challenges, and opportunities rise to the surface. The job of a chef is incredibly demanding and rewarding. There are various social and physical challenges that chefs have to face. Some things which make it even more challenging are the need to be unique, need to innovate new dishes and challenge of being consistent.

What qualities must aspirants possess in order to be a successful Chef?

Perseverance and innovation, these are the two most important aspects of any chefs’ career. What we do is not easy. We are constantly presented with challenge after challenge and we cannot crumble under the pressure. We have to be constantly on our feet, in touch with our trade and ahead of the trends. We need to innovate to either stay relative or set a new trend.

What is the scope for our future generation in this field?

The world of cuisine is always changing and evolving, and there’s so much left to do and to be discovered. The future chefs are the future of food and I believe that they will be able to take it to places that no one could have ever imagined.

How will the technological advancement improvise the career option?

Moley, a UK based robotics company, is set to unleash one of the world’s first robotic kitchen. The company claims that their robot chefs will have the skill and flair of a master chef.

There is a lot of speculation about whether a chef could lose their job to a robot in the future. The answer is yes and no. Robots may be able to perform mechanic functions such as processing food and doing the actual cooking, but as of now, they haven’t been able to factor in recognition of flavour profiles, different preferences of customers or most importantly, the human touch. There’s a certain charm that would be lacking in a robotic kitchen that no one but a human chef can create.

5- time Golden Peacock National Training Awardee- ITC Hospitality Management Institute

ITC offers a bouquet of Management Training programs apart from the “WelcomLEAD”. “WelcomLEAD is a three-year undergraduate programme for students passing the XII standard. The programme, financed by ITC Limited -Hotels Division, includes a handsome stipend, has a structured academic & on the job training. It is conducted at all ITC prefixed hotels (ITC Hotels). The candidate gets graduated with Bachelor of Arts (Tourism Studies) (BTS) from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) apart from getting the WelcomLEAD Certification & experience from ITC Hotels.

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