UK’s first Chinese food diploma launched

Fears of a demise of the Chinese restaurant industry, due to a lack of chefs, has led to the launch of the first Chinese-specific catering course in the UK.
A Luban chef
23/08/2018 - 07:00
The UK has launched a Chinese-specific catering course in response to fears of a demise of the Chinese restaurant industry and lack of chefs.

Backed by the Chinese Cuisine Association and Tianjin Food Group, the new Chinese Culinary Arts course, which starts next month, will look to secure the industry’s future by producing ‘home grown’ Chinese chefs in the UK. 

Russell Grocott, PAM Education founder and director said: “Our work has escalated from what started as the design of an education programme into a mission to reintroduce authentic Chinese Culinary Arts across the UK.

“Our programme provides budding Chinese chefs and restaurant owners with the opportunity to learn skills and gain a regulated qualification recognised world-wide and supported by the finest Master Chefs based in China.

“We have fantastic support from the National Cuisine Associations of Tianjin and China, and we are thrilled to introduce this unique opportunity into the UK.”

The course will be a mix of online and practical assessments and is aimed at current and aspiring chefs in the catering industry who want to enhance their skills and forge a successful career path in the sector.

It is a level three qualification that will follow Luban workshop principles, and is managed by Coventry-based PAM Education and run in conjunction with Chichester College Group and Tianjin Second School of Cuisine Food Group and has received significant inward investment from China to ensure that it will produce chefs of the future.

Successful completion of the course will secure a Diploma in Chinese Culinary Arts, with much of the content delivered primarily online, including weekly webinars, with practical assessments at Crawley College, part of the Chichester College Group, at the end of each term.

Julie Kapsalis, managing director (commercial) for the Chichester College Group, said: “We are delighted to launch this brand new course in a unique online learning format.

“The project has great potential for students and tutors at Crawley College and in China to learn from each other and develop new skills.

“Working closely with international educational institutions is important to Crawley College and to the Chichester College group as a whole, as we want to see the group develop at home and abroad.”

Topics on the course include:

  • The origin and development of Chinese food culture
  • How to prepare and cook Chinese cold dishes
  • History and skills for making Chinese Pastries
  • How to prepare and cook Chinese hot dishes
  • History and skills required for Chinese dough modelling
  • Development of skills for cutting, shaping and presentation
  • Awareness of the importance of seasonal and regional variations

It is hoped that the course will re-energise the industry as a showcase for Chinese food and provide the stimulus for new business opportunities.

Currently, restaurant and hotel owners can spend upward of £15,000 to recruit a Chinese chef from the Far East.

At present, most Chinese chefs for the UK’s 2,700 Chinese restaurants are recruited from overseas with owners using recruitment agents to find chefs willing to relocate to the UK.

The current recruitment process for Chinese chefs hinders the sector as it is time consuming, costly and includes overcoming significant UK government red tape, the latter preventing the recruitment of chefs for Chinese takeaways, which accounts for 75% of Chinese food purchases in the UK.

As a result, many Chinese restaurants and takeaway owners have been feeling the economic pinch and are facing the risk of closure because they cannot afford the sums required.

This course aims to alleviate that by ensuring a stream of Chinese chefs trained in the art of Chinese food at a much lower cost.

The course will commence on 24 September - registration is open now with limited spaces available. 

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