The School of Tourism and Hospitality Services Sectoral Management (SOTHSSM) of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is going to launch Institute of Culinary Arts (ICA) by July 2012. The main objective behind ICA is to encourage culinary research, development and documentation of culinary arts in India.
With the launch of ICA, the institute will start 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. Also, there would be an encyclopedia of Indian food which will include the cuisines of every state of the country.
According to Julie Sahni, brand ambassador of Ignou for food and culture in USA and the advisory board member, “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."
Also, Professor Ulf Hanning, department of education, Gothenburg University, expresses himself and says, “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."
In a recent meeting of advisory board of ICA, Chef Y B Mathur of Ignou talked about the updates of Research and Documentation Centre (R and D) centre and said, “A space for the 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 centre has been done."
According to the former secretary of Tourism, Government of India and honourary advisor for ICA, B K Goswami, “Our focus is to provide ready to train workers for kitchen. The kitchen of the R&D centre 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."
The University has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Gothenburg University, Sweden. This will enable collaboration between the two and will also support the actualization of the ICA and the culinary research centres.
Also, ICA will support the hospitality corporate in a way that ICA will come with such facilities which hospitality corporate can avail at cost-effective prices.