As part of ancient culinary tradition and what some may call a rite of passage, apprenticeships have been the go-to move if you wanted to succeed in the food and beverage industry. Multiple colleges around the globe, in their undergraduate and graduate programs, require students to complete a ser of practicum hours to achieve a minimum of experience in the field. With time internships have become representative of a generation and is the connection between graduation and the first job.
Felipe Palma is a 28 years old Colombian cook, living in Benidorm, Spain working on a major hotel chain. He started as a culinary intern in Columbia after obtaining the two years superior diploma in Culinary Management from the Escuela Superior de Hosteleria de Bilbao. Then moved to Bilbao, Spain to study a master’s degree in Culinary Management, were entered as an intern for Melia Hotels International. He has worked in several restaurants in Colombia, Germany, and Spain, to become an F&B Director someday. He describes life as an intern as a sacrificed one and the toughest but gratifying. “I have met the most amazing people throughout several internships” Luckily for Felipe he works as a food and beverage manager for a big hotel chain in Spain.
Felipe affirms that the industry is continually evolving and there are a lot of more opportunities now, that when he started working in kitchens 12 years ago. As for advice, he exhorts every up and coming chef to work hard and serve the best possible food they can. During the interview one of the words that Palma continuously repeated was excellence, and his constant thrive to achieve perfection and present the highest standards of excellence to the guests is one of the things that makes him get out of his bed.
“As Latin-American, I want to share all the amazing qualities of our food.”
Like Felipe, there are millions of young cooks who want to travel, learn from other cultures, and share their own with the world.
In the last three decades, major food chain restaurants and hotels have developed internships programs, to train and develop their employees and future leaders. It has become a sort of a tradition in Europe and the United States that the first labor experience is an internship. For many who love and devote their lives to serve others in the food and beverage industry, an apprenticeship is a way to pave the career path.