Tourists from India and abroad annually make a beeline for Goa to holiday and savour the range of global and Indian cuisines on offer in the coastal state.
However, Goa appears to be rising as a destination for young Indian students and those who left the country with their parents when they were young and have returned to India to follow their culinary goals professionally. Someone like Gadha Seema Gireesh, nineteen years of agewho left for Saudi Arabia at a young age. Gadha is pursuing her second year in B.Sc. Culinary Arts in Goa. In some time, she dreams of learning culinary skills under a Michelin star chef and maybe opening a restaurant of her own, but for now, she chose Goa to learn her basic lessons in culinary craft.
"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," Gadha said.
Gadha is not alone to have made Goa her choice destination 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 even more in recent times, thanks to the explosion of world class cafés and restaurants which have mushroomed in the coastal state.
Aleena Cibi Daniel from Kuwait also made a choice which was similar to Gadha. Aleena, also nineteen years of age chose the Raia-based V. M. Salgaocar Institute of International Hospitality Education (VMSIIHE) and she has her reasons for it.
"I chose to come to Goa all the way from Kuwait 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," she said.
"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" shared Aleena.
The VMSIIHE campus in Raia is accustomed to the presence of 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 program 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.
"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," says Prof. Irfan Mirza, Director and Principal of VMSIIHE.