What makes a chef? Is it his skill with the blade? His speed in which he prepares food? The elegance in what he does? The efficiency of his techniques? His methodology? These are some questions we ask ourselves when we think about Culinary Competitions.
Culinary Competitions have existed for as long as one can remember. It is the place where aspiring cooks can prove his worth to the culinary world. It is a place for innovation, and reinvention. It is the fire that keeps the culinary fire burning.
But it is also a source of great stress and panic. Here at First Gourmet Academy, they believe that there is no need to prove self-worth through competition and that making the time to practice techniques through trials and tribulations are better than through competitions. Here they encourage a pressure free environment where students do not need to represent the school as a test of their experience.
The issue with competition is that it puts a mental toll on multiple parties. For the student especially, for if one were to represent a school, one would be putting both his and the school's reputation on the line. Which would cause unnecessary panic and stress. Needing to tunnel vision in perfecting a single recipe in a time that could be spent better on practicing multiple entire methodologies and techniques. Not to mention the need to perfect one recipe as opposed to practicing multiple and perfecting those overtime. A few hours isn’t really a measure of being a good chef, as the measure is learned overtime through experience and practices, only through the fire and the flames of the kitchen can one flow and grow.
While competitions are great in the long term for one’s career, it detracts from the core experience you're aiming for. You're going to culinary school to learn, to improve, and to perfect. You are going to culinary school to experience cuisines in different perspectives. Learn different cultures and taste their stories. For them to tell their own.