The Straits Times
Published on Oct 15, 2012

ITE student-chefs go to class, in France

Two-week stint to learn finer points of restaurant business at famed institute


Until a two-week curriculum trip to Lyon, France, cooking ingredients never quite bothered culinary arts student Shaun Santokh Singh Gill.

While in France, the experience of using fresh green peas from the pod and crisp carrots still caked in soil, rather than "frozen produce from a packet", gave the 21-year-old a fresh perspective on cooking.

He and 18 other classmates from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) visited famed cooking school Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon for two weeks last month. His class is the pioneer batch in the technical diploma in culinary arts offered by ITE since April last year, in collaboration with the French school. All students need to make the two-week learning trip to Lyon. ITE subsidises the cost of the trip.

The main takeaway from the overseas jaunt: that high-quality ingredients make a superior dish. To this end, the students attended seminars on seafood, cheese and wine, and visited farms and vineyards - including the one that produces the Beaujolais Nouveau brand of wine.