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The specialties “cook” and “pastry chef” were included in the list of 50 most popular and promising professions for which secondary vocational education is required.

On October 20, the whole world celebrates the International Day of the Cook. There are thousands of cafes, restaurants, canteens in Moscow today, where chefs feed Muscovites and guests of the capital every day. For the city, the catering industry has long become one of the business cards, and last week a significant event for the entire sphere took place – metropolitan restaurants got Michelin stars… The professionalism of Moscow chefs has now been confirmed by international experts, which, of course, will increase the prestige of the profession. Already today, many guys dream of becoming chefs. Read about how Moscow colleges prepare future chefs and pastry chefs in the article.

Process fish, make cake

There are 50 educational organizations in the capital where young Muscovites study under secondary vocational education programs. In 12 of them, you can get the profession of a cook, as well as a cook and a pastry chef at the same time. Today, eight thousand college students study in this specialty in Moscow.

Svetlana Spiridonova, teacher of educational and industrial practice in the specialty “technology of public catering products” in College of Services No. 10, Said that a lot of attention in the curriculum is paid to practical exercises. This allows you to immediately acquaint future chefs with the intricacies of the craft and not teach them in isolation from the industry.

“Teaching students is divided into theory and practice – educational and industrial. After the theoretical module, the children take a demonstration exam according to WorldSkills standards in the college laboratories. The latest technology is installed there – now it is better than in some restaurants. Undergoing practical training on modern equipment, students will not “get lost” even in the newest kitchen. Having successfully passed the internal exam, students go to practice in restaurants and hotels in the direction of “chef-pastry chef”, ”explained Svetlana Spiridonova.

Students in the process of training are introduced to both the cooking and confectionery business. For example, they go through modules not only for the primary processing of vegetables, meat, fish, cooking hot dishes and sauces, but also for baking bakery products, making creams, cakes and sweets.

Future chefs are provided with equipment almost as thoroughly as scientists in testing laboratories. Combi ovens (heating ovens in which food is steamed and circulating hot air), induction cookers, production tables, vacuum machines, food printers, multi-mixers are just a few of what awaits college students. Such equipment is necessary for full cycle work: from blanks and preparation to serving dishes.

Svetlana Spiridonova stressed that the teachers’ master classes did not stop, even when the students went on a distance course due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order not to interrupt practical classes, the college provided students with toolboxes – special sets of products that were given out for home studies. Mentors prepared meals in college kitchens, and students did it at home – teachers watched the process via video link.

Varvara Panasyuk, student College of Services No. 3with a degree in cookery and confectionery, I am sure that a lot of practice is a serious advantage of studying in college.

“A big plus is that we feel the profession. We always sort out the dishes we prepare with the teachers, and, of course, we do practice in restaurants. We are learning a lot of new things, looking for non-standard approaches. We had an interesting topic when the course analyzed the combination of the incompatible: meat with sweet sauces or a combination of unusual side dishes. In college, we learn new techniques and learn to work with advanced equipment. There are unique courses – you cannot find such knowledge on the Internet, ”she said.

However, not only students improve their knowledge and skills – college teachers also regularly attend master classes, courses and advanced training seminars. The more they are involved in cooking trends, the more they can convey to their students. According to Svetlana Spiridonova, she recently also mastered the trendy competence – making ice cream on a freezer, a special cold plate.

Chef prestige

Last year, the specialties “cook” and “pastry chef” were included in the list of 50 most popular and promising professions requiring secondary vocational education. Specialties are popular also because in Moscow keeps opening a large number of establishments – the economy of the capital in terms of key indicators exceeded the level not only of 2020, but also of the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

With the growing demand for chefs, not only the prestige of the specialty grows, but also the quality of education, says Gleb Geiger, brand chef, alumnus Moscow College of Management, Hotel Business and Information Technologies “Tsaritsyno”.

“Education has become better, we are no longer taught to cook like in canteens, but they teach something interesting, tell how to create new dishes, invite chefs with unique experience. Naturally, you cling to it, start to get interested and immerse yourself in the profession. Over the past 10 years, everything has changed in the restaurant industry: small establishments with an average check that are comfortable for many began to appear. We have made a huge leap forward, ”added the brand chef.

According to Gleb Geiger, his college education gave him many advantages: a general understanding of the organization of food and kitchen work, the systematization of knowledge, the development of leadership qualities, and even practice in Italy.

“When I went to college, the profession was not so fashionable, and today many teenagers want to become chefs. But it’s very hard work, ”he said. – The most important thing is to explain to people what is happening in the kitchen, to give practice. This is one of the main advantages of learning. “

By the way, in the colleges of the capital, 342 centers have been created for conducting a demonstration exam and 45 specialized centers of competence – sites accredited by the WorldSkills Union and meeting the latest world trends.

Students-cooks, says Svetlana Spiridonova, prepare three dishes during the demonstration exams: pasta of their own production, hot chicken and dessert. The college invites independent experts, service professionals: Moscow chefs and hotel managers to evaluate the results. After the exam, students receive a special skill passport – an additional advantage in employment, confirming the student’s demand in the labor market.

Free additional courses also help students to update their skills. Svetlana Spiridonova noted that students can learn how to cook rolls, pizza, new salads, small candies – petit fours, and also competently work with chocolate and mastic that decorate cakes.

First Person: How to Become a WorldSkills Russia Champion “We will act like Elon Musk”: five interviews with students – WorldSkills winners

Study, work and create

WorldSkills championships have become an important part of secondary vocational education, where young specialists try their hand, gain new experience and fight for the title of the best in their competence. In 2021, more than 450 college students and schoolchildren were preparing for the upcoming open championship of professional skills “Moscow Masters” in accordance with WorldSkills Russia standards in the competencies “Cook” and “Confectionery” in the capital. The Moscow team in the final of the IX National Championship “Young Professionals” (WorldSkills Russia) became the absolute champion – in its piggy bank 236 medals. One of the winners – Varvara Panasyuk – gold medalist of the national final in the “Confectionery” competence.

“We were offered to participate in the competition by the teachers, they gave an impulse. I agreed, first I passed the selection in college, then the selection in Moscow and reached the national championship. The competition is very helpful in your career with its authority. When employers see that a person has participated in the championship, this is a signal for them: a specialist has not only knowledge, but also practical skills. We can say that this is a confirmation of the professionalism that every pastry chef should have, ”added Varvara Panasyuk.

Dmitry Manshin is still at school Of the first Moscow educational complex, but has already taken gold in the “Cooking” competence in the national final of the WorldSkills Russia Championship among juniors. Daily training, several qualifying stages, work under stressful conditions are inevitable attributes of the competition, but the most difficult, according to Dmitry Manshin, was getting to know the new equipment in the final. Participants had to prepare a dessert hot from meat, poultry, vinaigrette and consomme (clarified broth).

It was after the championship that the young man realized that he wanted to go to college and study the cooking business further.

The first Moscow educational complex over the past five years is the leader of the national championship “Young Professionals” WorldSkills Russia in the competence “Cook”.

“When you agree to participate in a competition, you are coached in college. There is an excellent professional kitchen, good equipment – it is interesting to study, work and, of course, create. I also met some of the teachers – they are sociable, responsive, I feel that they are real professionals. After the competition you come out with great experience and self-confidence. I realized: I will go to college, where I trained. I hope to get a decent education in order to further develop in the profession, prepare the basis for life. I believe that a chef is a prestigious profession if you work with love, ”says Dmitry Manshin.

Varvara Panasyuk also believes that involvement is one of the most important things in the profession of chefs and pastry chefs.

“The main thing is love for the craft, because without it the importance of what you do disappears,” said the student. “No matter how difficult it is for me, no matter how bad I feel, when I get what I have in mind, my soul gets better.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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