Exploring the World of Culinary at ICCA Dubai

SP Jain School of Global Management’s Master of Global Business (MGB) students participated in an exciting two-day Team Building event at the world-class culinary facilities of International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA) as part of their extracurricular activity during their academic year in Dubai. The students were divided into two batches and each batch came together to prepare a sumptuous multi-cuisine buffet on two consecutive days under the guidance of the ICCA Chef Instructors and had a fun time exploring the world of culinary!


Angad Shah, our MGB student, shares his learnings:

What has taken other places decades, Dubai achieved in record speed. And the food industry is certainly no exception. In the past few years alone, hardworking chefs and restaurateurs have built a reputation for the city as one of the world’s leading gastronomic destinations, making it home to some of the world’s finest restaurants.

Meeting a need for a growing industry, the first professional culinary institute – the International Centre for Culinary Arts – opened in 2005. The school’s director and CEO, Sunjeh Raja, may be one of the most influential people in the industry, guiding new generations of chefs through his curriculum.

When SP Jain School of Global Management organised a visit to the ICCA, I was super excited because I’m a real foodie and I love all types of cuisine. I wanted to discover the flavours of Dubai – from five-star gourmet restaurants to street food – and I got to know that there is something for all taste buds in all budgets.

At ICCA, we were welcomed by Karun Abhinav Raja, an alumnus of SP Jain School of Global Management, who is part of ICCA as a family business. Karun gave us a brief introduction of ICCA and shared some facts about the food industry and hotel management in Dubai. We were then introduced to some of the finest chefs of Dubai who were present there. As part of the team building exercise, we formed four teams. We worked in teams to prepare exquisite dishes with the help of these international chefs. Each team was guided by the chefs and their colleagues and the work was divided among the team members to carry out the tasks in a systematic manner. The teams made pizzas, delicious desserts and tasty salads. This was a fun activity and a chance for us to equip ourselves with a life skill – cooking.

The food industry in Dubai is huge and is continuously growing. Spending by residents on food and beverages will increase over the next five years, mainly due to an increase in the consumer base and growth in income, according to industry analysts. The major factors that will drive the UAE industry growth are surging demand for fast food, especially among youth, popularity of online ordering platforms and expanding tourist base that will create demand for more outlets with diverse cuisines.

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Lakshmi Bhavana, our MGB student and a food blogger @thefamishedsisters, shares her experience:

The excitement from the moment we got onto the bus to ICCA was palpable. We had these “MasterChef” feels. When the moment finally arrived, it was almost cinematic; from dividing into groups to getting assigned our respective tasks – everyone around was ecstatic and ready to get cookin’.

My team and I were assigned to make a French starter named “Vou le Vant”. It was a puff pastry with a couple of them having sautéed veggies filling and some more with creamy chicken filling.

This whole task was meant to build the skill of working in a team and learning how to work under pressure or learning how to handle mistakes with grace. It was a very fast paced, time-centric activity that we would remember for the rest of our lives. The sense of satisfaction when we finished our tasks without a mistake and the feeling of glee when the food we made actually tasted good!

This activity has taught me many things. One of the main things it taught me was to learn to work, both, as a team and solely as an individual. It also taught me that you can achieve anything you want in life if you put your heart and soul into it while loving the work you do. Eating has been a passion of my life and now I can happily say that cooking is too.

I have absolutely loved this experience. It is one of the memories that the cohort would cherish!

Authors: Angad Shah and Lakshmi Bhavana Chellapilla (Students of MGB Sep’18 Intake)

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