Continuing Education Main Headline

IFTM supports in-house MGM Professional Cookery and Food Preparation diploma programme

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

Integrated resort operator MGM China Holdings Ltd has partnered with IFTM to offer a tailor-made diploma programme to chefs working for the firm. The arrangement was the latest development in the long-standing cooperation between MGM and the Institute, which includes provision by MGM of scholarships and internship opportunities for IFTM bachelor degree students.

The programme – leading to a “Diploma in Professional Cookery and Food Preparation 1” – started in August 2019. A total of 12 chefs from MGM took part in the scheme. The programme was initially scheduled to run until April last year, but it was interrupted for 6 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Classes were resumed in July last year, and the final assessment of participants took place from 30 November to 2 December, at IFTM.

The programme included 4 theory courses – amounting to an aggregate of 120 hours – that were taught by IFTM staff at the Institute. The last module of the programme, amounting to 150 hours of practical study, focused on production of Western cuisine, and was taught in-house by 6 senior chefs from MGM. In order to be able to conduct that final module, the MGM senior chefs attended a train-the-trainer course at IFTM.

Mr. Geoffrey Simmons, Vice President of Food and Beverage for integrated resorts MGM Macau and MGM Cotai, praises the latest partnership with IFTM. He says the diploma programme was helpful for participating chefs to upgrade their expertise and skills. Having academic knowledge “is extremely important,” he says, particularly for professionals aiming to achieve career growth and attain leadership positions within the industry.

“The most important thing in designing such a programme is to deliver not only skills, but also knowledge on how to adapt what was learned to different situations,” Mr. Simmons says. This, he explains, adds value to professionals and can be helpful for their career development “definitely within MGM, however not limited to [the company], as these programmes are recognised internationally within our industry.”

IFTM Instructor Mr. Vishal Vishwanath Apte was one of the staff from the Institute involved in the programme. “It was especially made for MGM and with a focus on culinary arts,” he says. As the participants were all professional chefs, there was a focus on delivering academic knowledge on “nutrition, food hygiene, and even accounting and mathematics”.

Mr. Apte says the programme offered participating chefs the ability to combine fresh academic knowledge with practical skills they had already acquired through past work experience. That, he adds, was complemented by new practical techniques and skills taught as part of the final module of the programme.

Participant Mr. Kevin Leong highlights the importance of lifelong learning in the food and beverage industry. “We have to keep on learning different methods and techniques.”

Hot Production Sous Chef Mr. Leong says the programme provided him with knowledge on food handling and also, importantly, on management. “We learned a lot about different areas. We now understand more about food and beverage as a whole, rather than only focusing on the parts we specialise in.”

MGM Chef de Cuisine Mr. Pasu Chiu was one of the firm’s 6 senior chefs certified by IFTM as “Approved Trainer – Western Cuisine Chef of Macao Occupational Skill Recognition System” and responsible for teaching the practical module of the diploma programme.

Chef Chiu says the overall diploma programme allowed participants to broaden their horizons by combining theory and practice. “Many of the participating chefs specialise in a certain area such as Garde Manger, production or others: through the programme, they learned new techniques in different areas and broaden their knowledge.”

To become certified trainers, Chef Chiu and 5 other colleagues at MGM attended a 30-hour train-the-trainer course covering food knowledge, cooking skills and training methodologies.

President’s Corner

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IFTM in the Press

Macao Daily News – 19 October

Jornal Seng Pou – 15 October

Exmoo – 12 October