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IGNOU to launch culinary institute by July 2012

18 October, 2011

The Indira Gandhi National Open University’s (IGNOU’s) School of Tourism and Hospitality Services Sectoral Management (SOTHSSM) has decided to launch its Institute of Culinary Arts (ICA) by July next year to bring in fresh and highest parameters of excellency of Culinary Research, Development and Documentation in India.

The university has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Gothenburg University, Sweden for collaboration and to support the actualization of the ICA and the culinary research centers.

In an advisory board meeting of the ICA, updates on the activities of the Research and Documentation Centre (R&D Centre) were provided by Chef. Y. B. Mathur of IGNOU wherein he said that, “A space of R&D centre has been allocated in the new administrative block of the university. Purchase of its equipment as well as the books for library of the center has been done away with.”

“The curriculum of the centre shall always be evolving. Our focus is to provide ready to train workers for kitchen. The kitchen of the R&D center will be of amphitheater style for photography and training purposes to provide trained and ready-to-use culinary manpower to the industry. The manpower would have all types of domain skills and knowledge and fit into different job positions and resource categories of the industry,” said Mr. B. K. Goswami, former secretary Tourism, Government of India and Honorary Advisor for ICA.

In the meeting, it was decided that an encyclopedia of Indian food will be brought out which would include the cuisines of each state of the country. The institute will be launched with three-year degree programmes in Culinary Arts, Culinary management and catering technology and one year diploma programmes in food production and patisserie as well as food processing.

“Having a clear goal is essential for its establishment. It is important that we must focus on what is our target group? Are they students? Are they tourists? Students should know all the trends and understand the economy and market. The United States has produced its own culinary discipline and more than history, it includes techniques, as to how each dish is cooked. You need to train them like you train an MBA professional,” said Ms. Julie Sahni, brand ambassador of IGNOU for food and culture in USA and the advisory board member.

“You don’t have to choose what type of trend is prevalent right now as food is never out of fashion. The beauty of starting this initiative is that you have a wide platform. In Sweden, cooking is a huge subject. Every television has two or three programme channels dedicated to the subject. Since, India has less experience in documenting its cuisine culture the collaboration would be of immense help. We plan revival of cuisines and preserving them with the help of faculty exchange programmes as well,” said Prof. Ulf Hanning, Department of Education, Gothenburg University.

In its secondary support functions, the ICA at IGNOU shall come out with facilities which hospitality corporate can hire at cost-effective rates.