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Learners` Perceptions of Core Competencies in the Culinary Arts

Technical skills refer to the understanding and competence of certain types of activities, especially including methods, processes, procedures or techniques. Technical skills include expert knowledge, analytical skills in this specific field, and ease of use of specific disciplinary tools and techniques.

Most vocational and on-the-job training programs are largely concerned with developing technical skills. At the lower levels of administrative responsibility, the principal need is for technical and human skills. As the administrator moves further and further from the actual physical operation, the need for technical skill becomes less important, provided he/she has skilled subordinates and can help them solve their own.Human skill seems to be the most important at lower levels, where the number of direct contacts between administrators and subordinates is greatest.

At higher levels, the need for conceptual skills increases rapidly while technical skills become less important. At the highest level, technical skills may hardly be available and managers can still perform effectively if people skills and concepts are developed. Human skills are basically about working with people.

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An individual who possesses this type of skill set creates a work environment where subordinates are comfortable expressing themselves without fear and are comfortable participating in the planning and carrying out of those things which directly affect them.

The foundation of the competency movement in the hospitality industry began with Dr. Richard TAS in 1983. This is followed by a history of competency models specifically addressing the connection between Hospitality Management and the Culinary Arts. Specifically, this section will focus on the connection between the fields of study, the diffused identities, and the burning need for academia to bridge the gap through a sound curriculum base that connects industry and educator needs. The majority of the article is based on readings that focused on entry-level management competencies in the functional departments of hotels including the food and beverage departments. Concurrently, certification information from culinary professional associations will be analyzed. And these tools will be used to gain a further understanding of the core competencies that should be incorporated into a core curriculum for a bachelor’s degree in the Culinary Arts.

As the culinary arts emerged into a profession, the ACF worked diligently to support the professional development and education of chefs. In 1974, the ACF began a professional certification program that laid the foundation for industry standards relating to sanitation, nutrition, and supervision. In 1976, ACF upgraded its definition of a chef from the designation of domestic to professional. In 1946, the CIA was one of the first and only colleges to offer an educational program in professional cooking. Today, there are more than 1,000,000 professional-track culinary educational programs in all around the world, and approximately 300 bachelor degree programs with a culinary arts component. With this growth, academics and practitioners have questioned the competencies and skills-sets that should be integrated into a culinary arts degree curriculum. Specifically, should an entry-level culinary manager be concerned with interpersonal relations and compliance issues, or merely with food preparation and delivery? Should a student studying the culinary arts partake in hotel management courses? Click here for more articles.

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