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Dish for TV

education Updated: Aug 21, 2012 18:56 IST
Hindustan Times
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The lowdown
Celebrity chefs are essentially executive/head chefs who attain celeb status by presenting cookery shows via the mass media, especially television. Sanjeev Kapoor, Rakesh Sethi and Vikas Khanna are a few examples of chefs who’ve made it big, thanks largely to the television shows. Some executive chefs acquire celebrity status by successfully authoring cookbooks. Celebrity chefs can massively influence cuisines across countries. They are master culinarians, are required to be team builders and possess strong leadership and communication skills. There are different kinds of professional chefs — sous chef and chef-de-parties, to name a few. Every kitchen in a hotel is divided into different sections and is headed by a sous chef (second chef). Every section of the kitchen is further divided into sub sections, headed by chef-de-parties (section chef). Then there are commies (helpers) under them who are directly involved in all types of preparations

Average day of an executive chef
9am: Breakfast/buffet round in the coffee shop followed by checking emails and function prospectus of the banquet kitchen
9.30am: Morning meeting with GM and all the heads of the departments followed by departmental meeting with the sous chefs
11am: Inspection of food quality of raw materials
11.30am: Food tasting trials in different kitchens and tasting of staff cafeteria meals
Noon: Interact with guests and ensure smooth kitchen operations
3pm: Lunch break
3.30pm: Making menus for important functions and drawing up plans for the next day
4pm: Training classes for employees/reading books/do rounds of main store and storage facilities
5pm: Closing meeting with GM and departmental heads
6pm: Brief the sous chef
7pm: Leave for television studios to talk about French cuisine in a lifestyle programme
11.30pm: Leave for home

The payoff
Celeb chefs make a lot of money from cookery shows on television – the higher their brand recall the greater the income. Royalties from books can also add up to neat sums. Many have their own cookery classes, others sell food products made from their recipes. Some have even gone on to open their own restaurants. Financial prospects are great for chefs and most of the executive chefs earn higher salaries than even the GM of a hotel. After passing out from the catering college the salaries for kitchen trainees range between Rs. 15,000 and Rs. 18,000. Sous chefs earn around Rs. 60,000 to Rs. 1 lakh whereas executive chefs earn from Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 2.5 lakh per month

* Diligence and attention to detail
* A creative temperament
* Mental preparededness to work under tough and demanding conditions
* Capacity for team play
* Awareness of culinary trends

Getting there
A hotel management degree is a must, which could be achieved after senior secondary and passing a written entrance test and interview conducted by National Council for Hotel Management

Institutes and URLs
* lndian Institute of Hospitality and Management, Mumbai, Aurangabad, Ahmedabad Chennai
* Institute of Hotel Management,Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition, Hyderabad

Pros and cons
* Good money
* Chances for media exposure
* Global exposure to learn different cuisines
* Long hours at work

Indian cuisine comes fourth in the world in terms of popularity and hence there is a great demand for Indian chefs the world over - Shivanand Kain, senior executive chef, Jaypee Greens Golf &Spa Resort, Greater Noida