Relevance of School Culinary Training to Field Skills

Relevance of School Culinary Training to Field Skills

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Date:Relevance of School Culinary Training to Field Skills

Summary of Literature Review

A study of the correlation between what culinary schools teach versus what skills are required in the field is aimed at gauging the competencies of the graduate to fulfill market expectations. The nature of the culinary profession requires individuals with good interpersonal skills, creativity and a high degree of accountability. Nevertheless, there appears to be disparity between industry players and trainers on the competencies deemed most important ingredients for success. This report gives a summary findings of several studies conducted to answer this pertinent issue of bridging the gap between what the hospitality industry needs and what the training institutions deliver.

According to Gersh (2011), there is a dire need to address the deficiencies in the curriculum to address the disconnection between the fields of culinary arts and hospitality management. He further states the need to bridge the gaps between academia and industry needs through a sound proactive curriculum base. In order to achieve the required competencies for culinary manager training he formulated a conceptual model based on research and in-depth analysis. This was carried alongside a baseline survey for industry practitioners and the trainers. From this study, he established core competencies that should be incorporated in the curricula for the training of culinary arts. Some of the urgent ones were; administrative and management courses, industrial internship program, and a creativity development program.

Regarding culinary arts development Nailon (1982) argues that it developed as craft initially and asserts that the traditional approach was based on inherited practices, craft and rituals. This explains the challenge the field has had of identity since it is not certain whether it is a competency-based industry. However, Pavesic (1991) acknowledges the fact that to strengthen the professional credibility of culinary institutions emphasis should be on the traditional academic models.

Jeou-Shyn and Meng Li (2008) discuss the impact of creative culinary curriculum on culinary art students’ emphasizing on creative process and creative performance. Creativity is of great importance to team leaders and has been described as the capacity to develop new ideas, products and models that bring positive change to the organization. Morrison (2003) describes culinary creative process involves idea preparation, incubation, development and evaluation of the final product. They point out that there is a correlation between creativity and mode of learning. A problem solving culture should be emphasized to stimulate imagination and creative thinking in the industry. Their overall objective of the study was to show that creativity instilled in culinary educational centers could promote creative processes thus improved products.

Cawley (2011) on the other hand stresses the need to incorporate technology in culinary arts education. He argues that since information technology is widely applied in the hospitality industry the same should be applied in the training centers to facilitate skills compatibility. The use of multi media and graphic interface computer applications to train the culinary students will enhance the transfer of practical knowledge at limited costs. This is achievable since it offers an opportunity of the lecturer to demonstrate real life applications, share information with other tutors, and enhance enjoyment of learning process.

It is evident from the summary of literature review above that there appears to be a skills gap between what is taught in culinary schools and what industry needs. The problem is compounded by the clear lack of agreement between educators and industrial practitioners on the essential competencies required. However, by reviewing the curriculum to emphasize on culinary creativity and use of technology in teaching is a step in the right direction to correct this anomaly.

Reference:

Cawley, Robert C. (2011). The Interface of Technology in Culinary Arts Education, Dissertations Paper 1049. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.library.unlv.edu/thesesdissertations/1049

Gersh Iris. (2011). Culinary Industry Practioners and Educators’ Perceptions of Core Competencies for a Four-Year Bachelor’s Degree in the Culinary Arts, Dissertations. Paper 31. Retrieved from http://scholarship.shu.edu/dissertations/31

Horng, J.-S., & Hu, M.-L. (October 01, 2009). The impact of creative culinary curriculum on creative culinary process and performance. Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sports and Tourism Education, 8, 2, 34-46.

Morrison, A, & O’Mahony, G. (2003). The liberation of hospitality management education. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality management, 15, 38.

Nailon, P. (1982). Theory in hospitality management. International Journal of Hospitali~ Management, l (3) 135-42..

Pavesic, D. V. (January 01, 1993). Hospitality Education 2005: Curricular and Programmatic Trends. Hospitality Research Journal, 17, 1, 285