‘Organic’ cooking, step towards healthy lifestyle !

Consuming nutritious food daily is the key to leading a healthy lifestyle. So, looking at the health benefits of organic foods, people are gathering awareness on natural products along with understanding the adverse effects of chemically grown crops. With an increase in the demand for organic food, there has also been significant growth in the demand for organic chefs as well. “Of course, cooking food of their choice gives a sense of satisfaction. However, with the fast-paced life, one barely has time to spend the remaining moments of peace in the kitchen. And this is why professional organic cooking is emerging to be a career option,” said pastry chef, Academy of Pastry and Culinary Arts (APCA), Dean Rodrigues. “Nothing beats the experience and taste of warm food being served on time with high nutritional value and organic chefs can come as a complete package. Before diving into the skill set that makes an organic chef highly recommendable, there is a need to cater to the rising demand for them in the market,” Dean added.

1) A rise in the demand for Organic Food: With many chemicals added to the consumables as preservatives, organic food is becoming people’s first choice. According to a former report by Statista, the Indian retail organic food market is forecasted to be 135.6 million dollar by the year 2023. This trend picked up pace during the pandemic and continues to gain prominence. People are now extra cautious about their health and the choices they make.They are ready to bring about lifestyle changes in terms of health, wellness, and culinary habits. They now tend to look for more nutritional value and are considering rich sources of vitamins and minerals as substitutes for other chemically grown crops. As organic food avoids any usage of fertilizers, pesticides, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the taste is far better and there are no adverse effects after consumption. In addition, the organic variety for all the normal food that we consume is easily available in the market thereby making it accessible. In fact, many options for organic consumables are making their debut in the market, and the demand for organic chefs who can prepare balanced yet sumptuous meals with natural ingredients is also a soaring phenomenon. However, becoming a natural chef requires a set of culinary skills and passion.

2) Natural food chef-skills in demand: Preparing organic food requires incorporating fresh foods with appropriate nutritional values and rich taste. As the choice of diet and its ingredients can affect the health of a person, therefore the chef needs to select the constituents carefully before preparing a meal. Each food item has a calorific value and certain items can be hard to digest. Hence, the organic chef must understand the requirements of the consumers they are serving. They should also study the family history of any allergies or any underlying intolerances related to food items. The next important step after sourcing the ingredients is preparing food in the appropriate manner. The ideal cooking methods and learning therapeutic culinary preparation for patients with specific conditions such as blood pressure, diabetes, etc. are other skills that professional organic chefs should be well versed with. Primarily, they must have extensive knowledge about seasonal and non-seasonal foods with different methodologies to cook them. In addition, they also need to get an expert in manual dexterity, knife handling skills, and nutrition-focused software. Becoming a chef not only means having exceptional culinary skills but also having the qualities of a manager with organizational skills such as time management and teamwork (when required). There are various institutes present in the market that offer specialized courses in organic cooking or have this as their subject in their culinary arts program. Their curriculum also includes preparing menus, knowing sanitization norms, food safety rules, and ingredient studies with after effects.

3) Career opportunities for an organic cook: Being a natural chef demands a lot of practice and knowledge in culinary arts. However, it is a viable career option in today’s times when the world is transitioning towards the organic era. Starting with the opportunity to become a personal chef for households, dinner parties, and destination cooking includes responsibilities such as meal planning, ingredient shopping, cooking, and managing special functions. The field also comes with added perks that include free accommodation with high pay scales. Another option to look out for is a recipe writer which includes crafting nutritious food recipes for magazines, brands, or cooking websites. This opportunity of becoming a natural chef is preferable for individuals who can incorporate creativity into their cooking, keeping food safety and nutrition into consideration. Eventually, they can even turn into a cookery author. Experts in natural cooking can also decide to grow into product developers for a brand that requires responsibilities such as finding healthy food recipes, creating food plans, deciding the cost of preparation, and also promoting organic food. A fresher can opt to start working for an established company or take individual orders and after gaining experience, they can begin their venture.

4) Organic cooking-the new ‘fad’: As many people are starting to get aware of the adverse health effects of non-organic food, they are moving forward to finding alternatives so as to promote living a fit lifestyle. An organic chef can exclusively manage the kitchen and provide a rich dining experience to the served. Being in the culinary industry delivers worthy opportunities but with tremendous responsibilities. Primary steps require owning a voluntary professional certification in culinary arts in addition to organic cooking specialization. Next is finding employment suitable to the needs of an individual and then deciding to work for an organization or run their own business. In addition, natural chefs with professional experience can teach cooking while inspiring others to go organic and pass on their skills. As the demand for these specialized chefs is surging, they can find themselves benefiting widely from this unique organic trend.