IIIHM is at the forefront of imparting world – class hospitality education. The education is not limited to classrooms or practical labs, It is a holistic four pronged education that includes imparting practical knowledge by doing, and travelling to destinations that are the sources of hospitality traditions or specialities.
In keeping with this ethos, IIHM organizes for its students a plethora of educational tours in India and abroad. Some of the trips include the Wine tours to France, Italy and Germany, The Whisky tour to Scotland. The India Wine tour to Nasik and many more.
The First ever culinary tour was organized by IIHM in 2019 to France. It was an Exciting tour of the country and its cuisines and cuisine culture. The IIHM France Culinary Tour was an authentic and mouth-watering way to fast track the understanding of France, and its culture exploring through its cuisine.
This trip was a 12 day all expenses paid trip by the Institute for the students who had qualified a gruelling pre selection test and interview. One third year student from each campus was shortlisted for the trip.
Chef Shaun Kenworthy culinary director of IIHM and Chef Mona Das, senior culinary faculty, spearheaded the Trip.
As a part of the Global Connect programme which connects IIHM to more than fifty foreign Institutions across the globe, this trip was hosted by LYCEE ALBERT THE MUN , PARIS. ADM is a premier Hospitality and Culinary Arts University in France. The subject specialist coordinator from ADM was Ms. Odile Renaud who had curated and planned this whole trip.
THE TOUR :17th to 28th November,2019
The tour started at New Delhi on the 17th November by an Exhaustive briefing on the rules and protocol by Mr. Abdullah Ahmed, Director and Chef Shaun Kenworthy.
The Same evening the Tour party departed for France from IGI International airport and arrived at the Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris on a Chilly sub Zero evening. The evening was spent at the Jo & Joe team Hotel discussing the exciting times ahead.
It was an early morning departure from Paris for the Coastal region of Normandy, that is steeped in History and Culture for centuries.
On arrival at Normandy the day started with a visit to The Cathedral LA MANS that is dedicated to Saint Julian of Le Mans, the city’s first bishop, who established Christianity in the area around the beginning of the 4th century. Its construction dated from the 6th through the 14th century.It was a wonderful introduction to the French Gothic style of Architecture.
After soaking in the grandeur of La Mans,the students had Classic Brasserie style meal at The Brasserie des Jacobins which introduced them to sustainable and local farm produce along with French classic cooking methods. They were also introduced to Food and wine pairing.
That afternoon the students visited the LA MAISON DU MIEL , a Family run organic Honey producing farm where they were taken through the process of Bee keeping and honey production by the owner.It was a wonderful opportunity for the students to dig deep into the working of the bee and the Hive. They learned the delicate art of beekeeping and honey-harvesting by master apiarist Michel Meunier.
DAY TWO :
The chilly second Normandy day started closer to the sea,visiting a sheep rearing farm.a farm that is situated in a vast expanse and has 50,000 sheep grazing in the farm.The owners of the farm guided the students about the life cycle of the sheep. The challenges and the rewards of rearing livestock .The Lamb producer also discussed different quality points of good quality Lamb and how those are incorporated in the diet and rearing process.
The same afternoon the students also visited a Biscuiterie ( a biscuit factory) that boasts both of age old recipes and modern methods of production. The factory manager discussed the sustainable processes of the manufacturing process and use of locally procured ingredients . they also emphasised on modern methods of mechanized production and quality control.
The students checked into a Home-stay facility called La Ferme a Colette to understand and observe the local living conditions, gourmet and culinary traditions .The first evenings dinner was local Normandy fare cooked by the home stay owner.
DAY THREE :
Day Three started with a visit to a Cuivrerie or copper factory that predominantly manufactures culinary pots and pans.this factory uses a generous blend of traditional copper pottery techniques and modern methods of moulding and welding .The students observed various forging, moulding and polishing techniques for making copper vessels that a long utility life with minimal maintenance.
The students had a four course classic French lunch complete with seafood and at Restaurant Le Beauvoir.
The second part of the day was reserved for the most visited icon of French Countryside The MOUNT ST MICHEL, is a tidal island and mainland commune in Normandy, France. The commune situated on an island lies approximately one kilometre (0.6 miles) off the country’s north-western coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches. Mont Saint-Michel is seen as a building of Romanesque architecture. It was an exhilarating visit for the students to see a building of such glorious past and historicity.
It was back to La Ferme a Colette where dinner for day was curated and cooked by the students of IIHM and ADM using local produce mixed with Indian ingredients.
DAY FOUR :-
Day four was dedicated to the two things that the French love the most, confectionary and Cider. In the first half of the day the students visited a Caramel factory to understand the science and techniques of producing confectionary on a commercial scale.
The lunch for the students was a sweet affair organized at the Brasserie la Cremaillere , a restaurant attached to the factory that showcased the menu prepared from local ingredients and Confectionary.
The evening was dedicated to a Cidrerie called the FERME DE LA SAPENIERE ,A Cider distillery that makes apple Cider of various types. They produce three types of Cider,Brut, Demi Sec and Sec and this distillery also produces Calvados . This facility, which is just 28 years old produces 70 Thousand, bottles per year.The students were lucky to be at the factory during the peak harvesting season for apples that is the main ingredient for making Cider and Calvados.
The dinner for the day was at a salad restaurant called the Salade & Co where the students enjoyed fresh local produce and juices. The nights stay whish was the last night at Normandy was at the IBIS hotel.
DAY FIVE :-
The first half of the fifth day was reserved for learning about another of French favourites …CHEESE.
Students went to a cheese making factory at Bermodile that produces Camembert, This area is the birth place of camembert cheese.
They learnt that a cheese can be called Camembert only if it is from Normandy, has to be at least 10 cms in diameter,250 grams and 22 percent fat content. It uses Raw Milk.
Camembert originated in 12th century and is produced even now with equal pride.The farms that produce cheese from cow milk also produce other agricultural products.
They learnt that it takes two litres of milk to produce one disc of Camembert cheese, that ages for 4 to 5 weeks initially for the mould to grow that results in creaminess in the core. Geotrichum and Penicillium are added to enhance the outside crust. As the cheese matures it becomes creamier and softer, hence it is covered in parchment paper and packed in wooden round boxes to retain shape until it is consumed.
After a satisfying tour to the cheese factory the farewell lunch was organized at the Restaurant Le Normandy. Thereafter the students started their journey back to Paris. After arriving at Paris the team Checked into the Jo & joe the team hotel for the rest of the days.
DAY SIX :-
The students visited one of the oldest restaurants of Paris in the morning. Called Tour d Argent or the tower of change.
The restaurant is a three star Michelin restaurant in the heart of the city besides the river and boasts of its prized signature dish, La Carnard the tour de Argent ( the pressed duck dish).
The restaurant extends to three floors with breath taking view of the city, the river.The restaurant has the most exhaustive collection of wines, other liquor, and its menu, and wine list extends to more than 250 pages.
The students had an opportunity to interact with the chefs in the kitchen to understand the workings of Michelin starred kitchens .They also got to look at the wine celler and the historic gallery of the restaurant that has hosted King Henry 5th.
The same evening the students visited the famous landmarks of the city, The Champs Elysee , the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower the landmarks that are steeped in history.An object of discord, desire, and fascination, the Eiffel Tower never fails to impress. Our Culinary Tour de France students were awestruck by its beauty on their tour.
DAY SEVEN & EIGHT :-
The next two days were dedicated to learning the nuances of the classic and modern French cuisine on the job.
The students learnt the art of patisserie under chef Thierry at the Albert De Mun culinary school. The students learnt the art of French pastries, classic croissants and other French breads including the indomitable Baguettes.
The next day the students cooked a Three-course French menu under the guidance of Chef Olivere, the menu was created and cooked at the Industrial kitchen at Albert De Mun. the students cooked this menu for 40 Guests including the faculty and staff of Albert DE MUN.
The cherry on the learning cake for the students of IIHM was dining at the Michelin starred NOMICOS at 16 avenue Bugeaud, Paris. The students experienced the beauty of Michelin starred dining experience; the stars of the experience were the recommended gems of the Nomicos:
Macaroni aux truffes noires et foie gras de canard
Homard, miel de châtaignier, romarin, pomme grenaille et artichaut poivrade
Granité à l’absinthe, marmelade de tomate à la vanille et glace fenouil
Thus concluded the much-awaited first culinary Tour De France for the students. they will count this as a lifetime opportunity provided by The IIHM .