A sweat-inducing test

A sweat-inducing test

It's shortly before noon: it's getting hectic in the kitchen of the vocational school in kitzingen. It is stirred, cut and fried. "Now the "heibe phase" begins, says bernd hartner, pastry chef at the wurzburger ratskeller and member of this year's selection committee.

Four trainees take the practical part of their final examinations to become cooks today. And for six prospective restaurant specialists, the day is also a serious one. Six weeks earlier, the trainees received a basket of ingredients from which they were to create a menu for six people. This was then presented during the oral examination.

The ingredients were the same for everyone, but the young cooks decided for themselves what to make from them. The chanterelles and the char intended for the starter were served, for example, as a terrine or as dumplings with various garnishes.

The service team had also prepared for the day of the test under the motto "herbs and wine" prepared a table decoration and each set his own table. The evaluation committee also paid close attention to the correct way of working: whether the cutlery sequence was correct and whether the appropriate wine glasses were on the table were only two of many criteria for a good grade.

In the kitchen, too, every step was closely observed. Was butter used here for frying instead of oil?? Was also worked economically and cleanly? And – of course a very important factor – how does the prepared food taste?? In total, a candidate can score 100 points in the whole exam, for every mistake there is a point deduction.

"It is true exhausting, but the exam was fun, too", says niklas kuhn, who is doing his apprenticeship at the training and conference center in iphofen. He has prepared well for the exam. Five times he prepared the menu beforehand. He will now stay in iphofen for another six months, after which he would like to go to switzerland. "Cook has always been my dream job, says the 18-year-old.

But fewer and fewer young people are opting for an apprenticeship in the catering sector. "It is a gentle and also crisis-proof profession", explains hubertus kieser, training ambassador of the bavarian hotel and restaurant association. "Gastronomes trained in germany are also in great demand abroad and have good career opportunities".

In his role as an apprenticeship ambassador, kieser goes to schools and job fairs, for example, to inform young people about the profession and the opportunities for further training.
It is to be hoped that the interest in an apprenticeship in the gastronomy sector will increase again. Because the enjoyment of the good food, which was beautifully prepared yesterday, and the attentive service, certainly no one wanted to give up. Ilka mann