Indian restaurant Mai’da has joined forces with Blackburn College to offer cookery courses aimed at tackling the shortage of Indian chefs in the area.
The recent tightening of immigration laws and the subsequent struggle to recruit chefs has forced many Indian restaurants across the country to focus on training UK based chefs in the art of Indian cookery.
The college has worked closely with Mohammad Ali, the owner of Mai da, to develop a year-long full-time NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Professional Cookery.
The course will focus and key techniques such as tandoori cooking, spice blending, roti making and marinating as well as food hygiene. The students will also work in the Mai do kitchen whilst being supervised by the restaurant’s head chef.
The course currently has six students but if it proves successful, both the restaurant and the college would hope to expand the programme.
Mr Ali is the owner of successful restaurants in both Bombay and London and also supplies Indian food to Singapore and Emirates airlines.
He is really pleased to be working with Blackburn College at the forefront of developing Indian cookery courses in the UK.
Mr Ali explained that the current government’s policy of reducing the number of skilled workers entering the UK has been a major cause of shortage of Indian chefs.
He also believes that Asian parents are steering their children away from the food industry and towards professions such as law, accountancy and medicine.
A spokesman for Blackburn College explained that the trainee chefs have so far demonstrated a high level of motivation and a real eagerness to learn. The students who successfully complete the course will be awarded with a diploma that will hopefully give them a real sense of achievement and pride.