From the outset, the Institute of Culinary Arts has always provided culinary students with the opportunity to engage and apply their learning to real-life situations and responsibilities. For final year students especially, gaining the proficiency to take on actual occupational projects and assignments, delivers the necessary training and preparation for entering the culinary arena as young professionals who can lead within their peer group and rise above the rest.
Having completed most of their Advanced Culinary Arts academic and practical components, 3rd-year students will soon embark on their specialization placements within the professional sphere, under the expert guidance and mentorship of ICA industry partners.
This year, 3rd-year students were tasked with a project that incorporated all 3 culinary specialisation fields offered by the ICA – Product Development, Media Communication and Professional Wine Studies & Event Coordination – through collaborating with one of SA’s top seafood companies, Pescanova, during a product launch and expo on campus.
The Nueva Pescanova Group is a leading multinational company, specialized in the fishing, farming, processing and commercialization of seafood products, bringing the freshness of the sea to the consumer’s table. With more than 10 000 employees on 4 continents, it is one of the few multinational companies that integrates all the activities of the value chain, from source to sale. The ICA naturally related to the company’s reliance on corporate responsibility, good practice in terms of quality and the environment and constant innovation.
It is through the ICA’s aptitude for innovation within the culinary arts, that students were tasked with utilizing the Pescanova frozen seafood range through recipe development of the retail and wholesale products and styling and photographing the newly developed recipes to provide professional product shots for the Pescanova website and social media channels. Furthermore, students needed to provide the client with a detailed write-up, including a suggested wine pairing for each product and present all of this to Pescanova and prominent industry representatives in the form of panel-style presentations during a product expo hosted at the breathtaking ICA campus grounds in Stellenbosch.
Not only did ICA students rise to the occasion and deliver work of exceptional quality that will now form a tangible part of the structure and marketing avenues of this large, global company, students also had the opportunity to work on a project that is realistic, current and credible, which further equip them with invaluable first-hand knowledge and industry-related experience.
“We were looking for a partner who will be able to assist us in our retail drive to promote the ‘Mediterranean theme’, but creating recipes adapted to the ‘South African way’.
We were pleasantly surprised by the professional approach ICA applied themselves in the task at hand. The interpretation, creativity, execution and presentation by the students were – to say the least – exceptional and surpassed our wildest expectations!
The outcome of this phase of our engagement yielded more than expected and we are looking forward to future similar collaborations.”
– Niekie Kock: Managing Director, Pescanova