Q: I am a grade 10 student with a passion for culinary arts. I would like to pursue it as a career option. Are there scholarships available for culinary art courses?

A: Programs in culinary art are more than just cooking a delectable meal – the more holistic meaning would include all aspects of work in the kitchen – menu planning, food sanitation, purchasing inventory and staffing cooking stations. Along with theoretical knowledge gained through a degree or diploma, culinary programs would require students to gain experience through an internship or apprenticeship.

In addition to honing your cooking skills a culinary program requires you to study business skills, time management skills, leadership skills, manual dexterity, and creativity. To know this is the right program for you, I suggest take a psychometric test.

Moving on, you need to determine what are your career goals. Is it to focus on designing a menu and preparing meals or is to understand the management and business aspect of running a kitchen and manage a restaurant? The former may only require a diploma, certificate or an associate degree but the latter will warrant you to get enrolled in a culinary degree program which will teach amongst other things cost control and hospitality management.

It is critical to verify the accreditation of the institute and program you intend pursuing. Premier institutes such as the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, and Les Roches international School of Hotel Management, Switzerland, Le Cordon Bleu, Paris offer the most coveted culinary arts programs in Europe. Purdue University, University of Nevada in USA, University of Surrey, UK and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University are few of the other campuses worldwide that offer culinary studies.

Closer to home there are multiple Institutions across UAE like International Centre for Culinary Arts – ICCA Dubai, SCAFA – School of Culinary and Finishing Arts Dubai, The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management offers a varied range of courses along with the opportunity for internships. The common entry requirements are a pass in year 12 or equivalent. Minimum age is 16 years for residents of the UAE and 18 years for international students.

There are scholarships offered by Le Cordon Bleu, New Zealand for international students opting for Diploma in Cookery and Pastry and Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts. The scholarship typically comes as a reduction or waiver in tuition fees.

Sanjeev Verma is the managing director of Intelligent Partners, a leading education consultancy based in Dubai (sanjeev@intelligentpartners.comwww.intelligentpartners.com). Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.

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