Technical Chefs Institute focuses on keeping cooking an art
WHILE OTHER INDUSTRY SECTORS have recognised credentials to identify levels of expertise, experience and responsibility across specific occupations, the foodservice sector is a little different.
It seems that almost anyone can call themselves a chef, and this, says Martin Probst, General Manager, Marketing for the Australian Institute of Technical Chefs, is creating an industry containing “more and more sizzle and hardly any steak”.
“Too many kitchen cowboys and meatheads have claimed to be chefs and thus damaged the industry’s reputation.
“This created a rather sour and unpalatable taste for the many real professional chefs.”
That’s why in 2015 a group of industry professionals came together to protect their professional status by creating a nationwide not for profit registration board - the Australian Institute of Technical Chefs (AITC).
The AITC was established to verify and license Technical Chefs and so far has done so for around 100 professionals.
Managed by a council of high profile professional chefs, the AITC has set out five attributes that applicants must meet in order to be credentialled as Technical Chef - training qualifications equating to 1000 credit points; minimum of six years’ commercial cookery experience; external verification of fitness to be titled a chef; written commitment to following codes of practices; and an expectation that they will continuously develop their careers.
“The AITC has been set up to publicly identify and promote highly skilled, trained and experienced professionals,” Martin Probst says. “It protects chefs who have spent years earning the title, it educates the public that being a chef is a skilled and professional occupation, and it provides employers with additional evidence that the chef is fully trained, experienced and professionally responsible.
“AITC members are the leaders in commercial cookery – they are the catalysts to lift the industry through their experience and drive to protect the reputation of hospitality in Australia.”
Over the three years since its establishment, the AITC has become involved with the Victorian Skills Committee, has been recognised by SkillsIQ as a stakeholder in culinary training, and has published a distributed nationally handbook outlining all relevant information including Australian culinary codes of practice, a list of foundation members, and an explanation of the ideology behind the Technical Chef concept.
Members also attended the Wandee International Culinary Competition in Thailand in both 2018 and this year – as you can see in the accompanying photos.
For more information visit the AITC website at www.technicalchef.com.