The Switzer Hospitality team had recently organized an experiential hospitality workshop at Craft Deli & Bistro, Mumbai on June 05, 2017. Located at Phoenix Market City Mall, Kurla, the outlet is known for its European and Italian cuisine.
The workshop was the first of its kind, and part of our larger series, called ‘Inside the World of Restaurants’. “At Switzer Hospitality, we really want to add value to students who are looking for a career in the field of Hospitality Management and/or Culinary Arts. We want to organize workshops and events that are immersive and interactive. Students really appreciate sessions where they learn something new, actually do something themselves, or spend time with a restaurateur or a hotelier and really get to know the business,” says Mitali Rawool, Lead Counselor, Switzer Hospitality Education.
A bright young bunch of students, coming from different schools of Mumbai, assembled at Craft Deli, on Monday morning at 11 am.
Samir Chhabria, General Manager, Entertainment & Night Life, Bellona Hospitality, gave an introductory speech, along with Executive Chef Ruffy Shaikh and Sous-Chef Nikhil. Samir kick- started the session by explaining how the day was going to pan out.
Chef Nikhil and Chef Ruffy talked about the 3-course meal that each student was going to cook: Three Bean Citrus Salad, Beetroot Ravioli and Mixed Fruit Granola Parfait. All the ingredients had been laid out neatly in baskets in front of each student.
Chef Ruffy started with the first dish, the salad. Everyone took out their salad bowls, mixed the assorted bunch of greens, the beans, olive oil and the salad dressing. The salads were arranged on pretty plates and labelled with the students’ names. (Thank god for post-its!)
The next dish that they prepared was the parfait. Student took a nice glass and proceeded to layer fruits, whipped cream, more fruit and whipped cream and then finally topped it off with crunchy granola bits. Like the plates, the glasses were labelled and then taken to the freezer to let them set.
The final dish was the main course. Pasta sheets has been cut in small circles and the ravioli filling was ready to use. (I snuck some and found it quite yummy). The students really loved this activity! With help from Chef Ruffy and Chef Nikhil, they learnt how to make the perfect ravioli: how to tuck-in just the right amount of filling, how to fold the pasta into semi-circles, and how to seal each ravioli piece using ice cold water. Meanwhile, water was beginning to boil on induction cook-tops. They popped the ravioli pieces one by one, and got them out just when they were ready. On a separate pan, a little later, each student made a sauce, using extra virgin olive oil, butter, garlic, cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper. You could see creativity in action. Each student used different portions of the ingredients and plated their dishes differently.
By the time we were ready to eat, the heady aroma of garlic and butter was making tummies rumble in hunger.
The staff served each student their respective salad, pasta, and the now-ready parfaits. At this point, each student had a mile-wide grin and were ready to tuck into what they themelves had just made. Their faces- and stomachs were even happier when they were additionally served hot chicken wings and crunchy onion rings.
After the meal, students were taken on a small tour of sorts. Samir took the students to different outlets that are owned and managed by Bellona Hospitality at Phoenix Market City. They visited Nook, Café 212, Bar Bar and Craft. Students got a personal tour of every kitchen, learnt why and how the chef has designed each menu, saw how the layout and pricing was in sync with the outlet they were visiting. Everyone appreciated these insights.
After the tour, we went back to Craft Deli for some refreshments. Samir spoke at length about his career, about the restaurants he had managed, about his life as a hospitality student at Glion Institute of Higher Education, Switzerland, about his entrepreneurial business ventures and about his larger role at Bellona Hospitality: “Glion really helped me in 3 ways. I learnt how to be independent, I learnt how to deal with people and make friends with the right kind of people, and I learnt what it takes to succeed in this industry.”
Chef Ruffy and Chef Nikhil summarized their career paths and gave the students some real-world insights. “A career in culinary can be challenging. Do this if you are passionate. And if you are, you will enjoy what you do, and excel too”, said Chef Ruffy.
At the end of the workshop, each student was awarded with a participation certificate from Switzer Hospitality and a small bag of goodies from Craft Deli. After a group photo, we bid adieu.
The workshop was pretty amazing for the students, and we had fun too. Would you like to attend the next one? Leave us some comments.