NRI students embrace culinary journey in India

Tourists from India and abroad who come to Goa on holiday get to savour global and Indian cuisine in the coastal state. Goa appears to be the choice for young Indian students and those who have returned to India to follow their culinary goals professionally.

Someone like 19-year-old Gadha Seema Gireesh, who left for Saudi Arabia at a young age, is pursuing her second year in B.Sc. Culinary Arts at V. M. Salgaocar Institute of International Hospitality Education (VMSIIHE), Raia. She dreams of learning culinary skills under a Michelin-star chef and maybe open a restaurant of her own but for now, she chose Goa to learn culinary craft.

She says, “Cooking has always been my passion and I realised I could turn it into my profession. I aim to work in a restaurant and learn under a Michelin-star chef, ultimately opening a restaurant of my own.”

Gireesh is not alone in choosing Goa for exploring culinary dreams. And there’s a reason for it. Goa is already on the international tourism map and its profile as a tourism and culinary destination has been beefed up in recent times, thanks to the explosion of world-class cafés and restaurants that have mushroomed.

Aleena Cibi Daniel from Kuwait also made a similar choice. “I chose to come to Goa because VMSIIHE’s practical-based learning approach captured my attention. The college’s dedication to offering courses in both Indian and international hospitality, including culinary arts, intrigued me.”

“The hands-on experiences and demonstrations by professors, coupled with theoretical learning, have provided me with valuable skills and knowledge. The professor›s hands-on teaching style, interaction with students, and ability to find positives in setbacks also make the college an appealing choice,” she adds.

The VMSIIHE is accustomed to NRI students, particularly from the Gulf and surrounding areas, who select Goa as a base to master culinary skills. With an emphasis on practical learning and guided by renowned Indian and international faculty with rich teaching and industry experience, the institute’s B.Sc. in Culinary Arts degree programme is designed to nurture culinary talents and refine their skills.

Students also receive comprehensive training in various culinary disciplines, including the philosophy of the slow food movement, molecular gastronomy, plating techniques, culinary photography, and much more.

Director and principal of VMSIIHE Professor Irfan Mirza says, “Goa’s allure as a sought-after destination for tourists, combined with its rich gastronomic heritage, creates a suitable environment for culinary education. With hospitality deeply rooted in Goan culture, students at VMSIIHE are provided with an unparalleled opportunity to immerse themselves in a vibrant culinary scene.”

“Aspiring culinary enthusiasts will undoubtedly benefit from the institute›s expertise, resources and the rich cultural tapestry of Goa, enabling them to thrive in the dynamic and competitive world of gastronomy,” he adds.