The WACS Train the Trainer program, which continues to be sponsored by Custom Culinary™, has extended its services to four new countries in 2012, with plans currently being made for two more. WACS expert chefs have volunteered their time and talents to share their knowledge and passion for cuisine to others around the world. Dozens of chefs and hundreds of culinary faculty and students have already participated.
Here are some highlights of visits made in 2012. Thank you to the expert chefs who participated in these events: Chef Baranidharan P from Bangalore, India; Chef Davagi Sanmugam from Singapore; and Chef Soundararajan P. from Chennai, India.
Malaysia: On September 19, 2011 students of the Berjaya University College of Hospitality in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia were treated by a special lesson and demonstrations by Chef Baranidharan P, Corporate Executive Chef for Griffith Laboratories, from Bangalore India.
Chef Barani, as he kindly allows us to call him, is an expert chef in Indian cuisine, and has broad international connections through his position with Griffiths Laboratories and Custom Culinary™. He is a member of the Indian Federation of Culinary Associations (IFCA) and an active participant at WACS events and Congresses.
Berjaya University College of Hospitality is one of the growing numbers of WACS recognized programs under the WACS Recognition of Quality Culinary Education program. Located in the Golden Triangle area of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia the university was well suited to receive Chef Barani on one of his recent visits to the island nation.
Chef Barani spent a whole day talking and demonstrating his passion for Indian cuisine to a captive audience of young culinary students, faculty and staff. The lessons were coordinated by Culinary Director Chef Jochen Kern, GMC who was eager to help provide this learning opportunity to his students. A Power Point presentation detailing his lessons is included in the Train the Trainer section of the WACS web site; along with additional photos and recipes.
Chef Barani first lectured on the diversity of cuisines you find in modern day India addressing the different cultures that influenced Indian cuisine over the centuries. On his list were the influences of the Mongolians in the northwest region; the Persians on the west coast; the Chinese and Arabs thanks to the development of early spice trade routes; the Portuguese who landed and colonized in Goa; the French in Pondicherry, and the English thanks to their large Indian holdings. These people easily adapted their native cuisines to India’s great agricultural diversity which includes a great amount of millet, rice, wheat, beans, green vegetables, eggplant, pineapple, sugar cane, chilies, chicken and game that was readily available.
Among the recipes demonstrated included: Korma Gravy; Tandoori Chicken; Chicken Dum Biriyani; Vermicelli Kheer and a popular form of roti. Roti is a common word that describes a variety of Indian flat breads. Some roti are flattened quite large and cooked on the inside of a hot tandoor; called tandoori roti.
Asia goes to Montenegro: From 10 March through 19 March 2012 the chefs of Montenegro were treated to a world class series of Asian cooking lessons, demonstrations and kitchen work experiences thanks to the WACS Train the Trainer program and Custom Culinary™. Lessons included the cuisines of Vietnam, Thailand, China, India, Korea, Japan, and Indonesia with some added recipes from Malaysia, Philippines, and Bali.
The lessons were performed by one of Asia’s premiere chefs Davagi Sanmugam, a member of the Emirates Culinary Guild who travels the culinary world from her home base in Singapore. Chef Sanmugam is a talented chef, consultant, award winning cook book author and educator with world class experiences stemming from her Indian birthplace and extending to various locations around the globe including Europe, the Middle East, Asia and UAE. Author of more than twenty culinary books her latest title, Indian Heritage Cooking, won the 1st runner up at the Best in the World, Gourmand World Cookbook Award 2012 under the Woman Chef Category during a recent event in Paris, France.
Vuksan Vuko Mitrovic, the Chairman of the Montenegro Chefs Association and owner of Hotel Education Center (HEC) where the lessons were delivered, was the host and organizer of the event. Zlatibor Milic, President of the Association of Hotels in Montenegro, was also heavily involved in coordinating the various events for Chef Sanmugam who was able to present her lessons to various groups of chefs and culinary students in two different areas of Montenegro.
Many of the lessons and demonstrations were held at the Hotel Education Center (HEC College); a local culinary arts and management school located near the fishing village of Przno off the coast of the Adriatic Sea. There faculty, students and professional chefs were able to take part in the lessons. Classes of 20 to 40 chefs quickly filled up the rooms.
Chef Sanmugam presented a different style of Asian cuisine each of the eight days of lessons, presentations and hands-on kitchen experiences. On day 1 she focused on traditional Chinese foods; on day two students were introduced to Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. On day 3 Chef Sanmugam turned her attention to Indian cuisine showing students a variety of traditional dishes from various regions of the large and diverse country. On day 4 and 5 Korean and Japanese cuisine were the main topics. On day 6 Pilipino cooking was showcased allowing Chef Sanmugam to further expand on the similarities and differences between South Pacific cooking styles and flavors. On days 7 and 8 the demonstrations and work shops were concentrated on Indonesian, Malaysian and Balinese cuisines. It was a two day whirlwind of spices, flavors, plate presentations and cooking techniques that intrigued both the imagination and taste buds of the room full of participants.
India goes to Singapore: On April 18 Chef Baranidharan P. was able to perform more Indian cuisine demonstrations for his very friendly hosts at the ICAS Training & Education College in Singapore. Chef Barani had the occasion to be there attending an international trade show (FHA) on behalf of his employer Griffith’s Laboratories. During his visit he was able to perform these demonstrations for rooms full of teachers, students and practicing chefs.
First he repeated his popular report on Indian Cuisine; in the form of a Power Point Presentation followed by 1 hour question and answer period. Everyone was amazed at the diversity of India’s culture and cuisine.
Then Chef Barani was able to demonstrate a six course Indian menu which included: Mango Lassi; Tandoori Chicken Tikka; Murgh Zafrani Korma; Mutter Paneer; Aloo Gobi; Dal Palak Tadka; Romali Roti, Lacchedar Tawa Paratha; Vegetable Dum Biryani; Cucumber Mint Raita; and for dessert: Vermicelli Kheer. These dishes were chosen specifically to show the great diversity of Indian foods, and the simple pleasure one could have recreating them in their own kitchens.
India travels to the United States: Chef P. Soundararajan, Corporate Executive Chef Mahindra Holidays & Resorts, General Secretary of the Indian Federation of Culinary Associations (IFCA), and WACS Certified Chef took time out of his busy schedule to visit the United States for 4 days of learning and teaching as guest of The Chefs Academy in Indianapolis.
From May 14th thorough May 18th Chef Soundararajan demonstrated dozens of Indian recipes both savory and sweet. Brandon Hamilton, CEC, CCE chef instructor at The Chefs Academy made all of the arrangements, and was a most gracious host.
Demonstrations and workshops were conducted for professional chefs, students and teaching faculty from both secondary (High School) and post-secondary institutes in Indianapolis. Chef Soundararajan easily accommodated these diverse groups with interesting discussions and tasty presentations.
The grand finale came on the last day when Chef Soundarajana and eight instructors from The Chefs Academy worked together to reproduce over twenty authentic Indian dishes. Not only did the chefs get to watch, but they also got to produce these tasty dishes under the watchful eye of the chef.
WACS Train the Trainer program brings expert chefs from one country to another for the purpose of sharing knowledge, skills and passion for world cuisine. For more information on the program, or how to get involved, visit the WACS web site and look under Education Programmes. You will find all the information and applications there for your convenience.