The unrestricted availability of fresh foods, higher educated client expectations, greater disposable incomes, communication, culture, eating habits, education, immigration , media, preservation, social change, technology, and more, has impacted on and changed the career of a cook or chef.
These changes have also affected every other occupation and endeavour.
These radical changes in society require food service to respond to meet new needs. Cooks and chefs have demonstrated their remarkable resilience, as each generation has stepped up to meet these new challenges and expectations of an ever-changing and more demanding client.
While much of the change in commercial cookery has been for the better, principally in health and well-being, working conditions and freedom of culinary expression, it has not all been progress with many of the problems faced by chefs arising out of self inflicted abuse of their own destiny.
The next chapters outline many of the major issues that have the potential to tarnish the profession.
Explore them, agree or disagree, but please do not disregard. It is your future and no one else’s.
There is growing debate on the relevance of “apprenticeship in cookery” as a training model for a cook. Some believe it is outdated others have strong opposing views.
An uneasy relationship has alwasys existed between the hospitality industry and education system for training cooks and chefs, possibly inappropriately described as an “apprenticeship in cookery”. Which suggests the current model may well be the wrong way to train, especially as it leaves the apprentice in between two opposing forces.
Historically an apprentice was someone who legally agreed to work for a specific amount of time in return for instruction in a trade. The training model advanced with the addition of offsite institutional education and an apprenticeship became a partnership between a training provider and a business, with both taking responsibility for the development of the apprentice to become a competent cook.
Excepting group apprenticeship schemes and a handful of large employers, it appears that the number of parties who fully remain committed to their original agreements is getting smaller, so maybe it’s time to divorce vocational training from industrial employment and allow the educators to be completely responsible for delivering training of basic culinary skills and knowledge.
The Australian kitchen continues to change, reflecting our multicultural society and taste buds; likewise, the education system is in constant change in an attempt to keep curriculum relevant.
Compounding the historical issues surrounding apprenticeships is the expanding skill shortage in a culturally changing market.
Is an “apprenticeship” a misnomer – or worse, is it downright misleading?
While in the past, there were always industrial issues surrounding apprenticeships, generally the arrangement fulfilled the individual and industry’s need...