Nurturing HK’s culinary talent

January 27, 2019

Hong Kong is home to more than 15,000 restaurants serving up cuisines from all corners of the globe, making it a world-renowned gourmet paradise. To nurture quality manpower in international cuisine, the Vocational Training Council’s International Culinary Institute has been offering a variety of culinary arts training since 2014.


Its new campus was opened in Pok Fu Lam in September last year, where students are trained up for a career in the fast growing and internationalised catering industry.


Gastronomical inspiration

The building’s design concept was inspired by the shape of a salt crystal.


“Salt is the universal ingredient of all cuisine types and it can also bring out the best flavours in our food. Just like vocational and professional education and training, we bring out the best in our students,” International Culinary Institute Principal Winnie Ngan explained.


“We aim to train up a new generation of chefs who are creative and passionate, and we hope to uphold Hong Kong’s leadership position as Asia’s gourmet paradise.”


The campus houses a comprehensive array of facilities including training kitchens, a training café, a wine forum, a hall of gastronomy for event training, a sensory lab for food science education and much more.


Students can choose from a range of programmes at different qualification levels, including the Higher Diploma in Baking & Pastry Arts which was introduced in the current academic year. While the Diploma in International Culinary Arts will be offered in the next academic year to provide training in different regional cuisines.


The institute provides world-class culinary training for more than 2,000 students covering European, Mediterranean, American, Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines.


“In our Diploma programme, students will be able to learn cuisines from these different parts of the world, supporting the development of the catering industry in Hong Kong,” added Ms Ngan.


Success story

Eva Chan is a culinary institute graduate. After finishing secondary school, the 20-year-old aspiring baker joined the Diploma in Bakery, Pastry & Confectionery programme.


“When I was small, I often watched my mother making cakes at home. That sparked my interest and I began to learn how to cook. My brother and grandfather are also chefs, so my family background influenced me a lot. I love to cook,” she said.


Miss Chan even won a prize in the patisserie and confectionery trade section at a regional competition last year. She will also represent Hong Kong at the WorldSkills Kazan in Russia this August.


She is now receiving intensive training for the competition at the institute while working part-time as a baker in a five-star hotel to gain more experience.


“I treasure this opportunity to compete in an international competition. My target is to finish the tasks on time and achieve excellent results.”


Her next goal is to secure full-time employment and to run a café in the future.

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