Indian celebrity chef praises "world-beating" UCB

March 2016

An acclaimed celebrity chef from India made a whistle-stop tour of UCB’s food education and training facilities – and declared them world class.

Ajay Chopra, a former judge on Indian MasterChef, accepted an invitation to visit the University from Melvyn Pryer, director of UCB’s International Student Centre, with a view to strengthening the links between the University and the booming southeast Asian country.

Chef lecturer Bernhard Schumacher showed Ajay the Food Innovation Suite, the baking and confectionery kitchens and the main kitchens that are used to prepare lunches and dinners in the Atrium and Brasserie restaurants.

Ajay said he was impressed by the high standards of culinary teaching and the superb facilities. “The kitchens were very well designed and would give students a first-hand experience of industry standards. In fact, some kitchens were better than 5-star hotel kitchens that I have worked in around the world.”

The Mumbai-based restaurant consultant paid tribute to the commitment and expertise of the chef lecturers who he said were “oozing with passion” for their subject.

Ajay said there were many advantages for Indian students in learning their culinary skills at UCB. “There are world-class kitchens and infrastructure to support them to become the industry's best,” he said.

Once trained at UCB, Indian students would be able to get jobs anywhere in the world because the University’s food-related degrees have global recognition and the vocational education gives graduates the skills to hit the ground running when they enter industry.

Reflecting on the attributes required to progress as a young chef, Ajay said perseverance was vital. “The road ahead might look tough and absolutely endless and tiring, but the fruits of this labour aren't just sweet, they are extraordinary,” he said.

“The chances of reaching the top quickly are always there if a student is really keen on all that he does. Fame, money, travel are some of the benefits of being a hospitality stalwart.”

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