Career Compass

Are short-term cooking courses beneficial for home chefs?

Are short-term cooking courses beneficial for home chefs?

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Niklesh Sharma

During the lockdown, when dining in was the only option, restaurants remain closed even for delivery and also, hygiene was the top-most priority for everyone; we saw the emergence of numerous home chefs — a new saviour. An ever-increasing number of home chefs have taken the food industry in India by storm. From teenage bakers to middle-aged homemakers and grandparents, many explored as well as polished their hidden skills, making food delivery from home innovative and lucrative.

As a result, over the past few months, many short term courses have emerged that home chefs can leverage to specialise in their favourite cuisine or seriously take up their hobby of cooking. Though such courses existed even before the pandemic, their relevance, significance and demand have never been as intense as it is now. These courses are available both online and offline and continue to be in great demand.

The rising number of home chefs

Almost a year into the coronavirus outbreak, after the initial wave of success servicing orders from neighbours, friends and family, home chefs have established themselves as small businesses. Platforms that help to discover home chefs have experienced a huge rise in the number of registrations and also, these platforms are collaborating with home chefs to launch professional delivery brands, enrol them across cities and help them in brand building. The home chefs are also getting more organised as an increasing number of them are applying for FSSAI licenses, advertising locally, setting up small commercial kitchens and enhancing their presence on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

The customer behaviour for perceived hygiene and exclusivity provided by home chefs helps them get a premium on both food costs and logistics. Further, social media continues to be the largest driver for these businesses as it helps in getting and amplifying reviews, original content creation and easy visibility. Though home chefs don't seem a threat to traditional food businesses, they surely have the potential to grow much faster in the coming years.

Is becoming a chef a good career choice?

While some people are sure what career they want to pursue, some find choosing a career path quite daunting, especially when a career requires years of investment to progress successfully. Being a chef also requires experience, skills, love to create delicious delicacies everyday and hard work to get far because it is such a competitive industry. Any career is good if you have a passion to pursue it, vigour to learn and upskill.

Not difficult in the digital world

If you are an aspiring chef or trying to get into cooking or baking for the first time, finding a helpful source can be a bit challenging, but once you end up choosing the right tools, you are all set to make the best out of it. Starting with basic recipes with the support of a cooking course can make a huge difference. Best of all, these courses are available in abundance on digital platforms. Almost all famous chefs, bakers, culinary schools and institutes are offering short term and online courses to help dreamers across the country become a chef. The purpose is simple — making cooking courses accessible, affordable and giving options to people who either want to become a professional chef or learn cooking as a hobby.

Whether you want to rule taco night or get your hands on North Indian delicacies or get insanely good at the cake, there are numerous short term and online cooking classes you can try. There are many reasons why these online courses are becoming so popular —reduced distraction, learning at one's own pace, high engagement, trackable learning and interactive learning.

Online courses are completed at the student's own pace. These courses examine concepts in cooking, menu planning, safety, and nutrition. Students learn to follow instructions, try recipes at home and create unique dishes. They teach students to prepare everything from basic recipes to high end creations. Further, some courses are dedicated to different meal components, including soups, fish, pasta, sauces, meats, and grains, salads, and desserts. Several online courses also guide on establishing a catering business.

Summing Up

The emerging and fast developing segment of the food business — home chefs seem to have a bright future ahead. Complementing the same, various short-term cooking courses covering different cuisines, styles, different recipes of the same dish etc. are becoming popular. The added advantage is the easy accessibility of these courses as most of them are available online.

Many tutors have moved to virtual classes, connecting over interactive and collaborative tools in remote learning scenarios. These tools also enable social and human interaction, ensuring that the passion in you for culinary arts gets addressed well.  Though many online courses already existed before the pandemic, now there is an exponential increase in both the number of options as well as the number of people joining them. So, when are you opting for the one?

The writer is Founder of APCA

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