Within the framework of the project ‘Camp of Gastronomic Knowledge’, the chefs of the Basque Culinary Center conducted trainings for working chefs.
Training sessions were conducted in creativity and service. Within each session, the participants learned about gastronomic trends and avant-garde techniques and were introduced to global gastronomic trends, avant-garde cooking techniques, the use of “new ingredients” and the making of creative dishes.
The closing event and certificate ceremony was hosted by Caucasus University.
“Cooperation with the world-famous and recognized Basque Culinary Center is a victory not only for us, partner organizations but also for the country,” said Tamar Sikharulidze, Chairman of the Gastronomic Tourism Business Association. “It was one of the most important events in recent years in the field of cooking. As we have observed, the most important thing that this field needs, one of the fundamental issues, is the professional training of staff. This, in turn, will organize, refine and raise the level of service and serving, as well as refresh content and present or discover Georgian regional culinary masterpieces in a more interesting way.
“At the same time, this will be a turning point in the culinary industry,” she notes. “Professionally trained staff means a higher-paying workplace and it also means an increase in the number of customers for this or that particular establishment.”
Sikharulidze highlights that the gastronomic aspect is also important for the promotion of tourism, especially for small countries that are trying to introduce themselves to the world with their culture, history, landscape, and tourism potential.
“Gastronomy is one of the main parts of the life of every country,” she says. “We have to discover and present many things in our own cooking.”
The chefs who participated in the training sessions also noted how important and great an experience it was for them in their professional careers. There was also interest from employers
“Everyone wants their chefs working in their establishments to participate in such training. Then, from that, is an increased demand for these chefs in terms of employment and offers,” Sikharulidze says. “Chefs and staff working in the field are ready and willing to take every opportunity to improve their knowledge, which eliminates the harmful practices established in previous years, when you could only become a chef if you prepared delicious amateur-level dishes, or you were unable to find a job and work temporarily because of these skills. Such trainings and the many people who wanted to participate show us the happy trend that the time has come for stability and development in this field.”
The Georgian gastronomy industry is clearly moving away from the amateur stage and is aiming to achieve professional heights.
“This training showed us interest from the employers themselves, which is positive because it shows us that they bet on professionalism and realize that this area and their locations, in particular, will be attractive only with such approaches. Professional staff equals many customers, equals stable grateful customers. It is on this vertical that they are trying to build their business. Moreover, in a more competitive environment, development is even faster and more qualitative. This is exactly what such trainings bring, and so it turned out in this case as well.”
The training was held together with the Basque Culinary Center, “Gastronomic Tourism Business Association”, Caucasus University, and the USAID Industry-led Skills Development Program (project “Employers for Vocational Education”). The host of the training was Gastro School Bazari.