“CulinaryInstGPEIBLS_4550x_INNOV” by Government of Prince Edward Island is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 

Culinary internships or apprenticeships are an essential part of the formation and development of the kitchen staff. By conducting a google search, there are multiple pages with thousands of opportunities for cooks, pastry chefs, sommeliers, and waiters. Some offer remuneration, others offer the house, most of them offer a meal plan (they assure the participant 3 hot meals a day), and others do not. This ancient tradition has become part of the curricular requirements of almost every culinary school. Students must complete a total of hours in order to obtain their degree. As the first job experience, these internships are an excellent opportunity to start building a resume and a curriculum vitae. Hotels, restaurants, and other food and beverage operations see the chance to develop future professionals by leading them forward on their career paths.

The Toronto Star recently published an article about the emotional impact, and professional development culinary practices or internships have on the up and coming cooks and chefs, in a particular community. As their many options worldwide, these apprenticeships are the first glance at the food and beverage industry.

“CulinaryInstGPEIBLS_4545x_INNOV” by Government of Prince Edward Island is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 

Ruth Escribano is the head of Human Resources at a company who manages hotels for Melia Hotels International in Alicante, Spain. She affirms that interns are vital for the daily operations of the hotel. “We provide them with the right tools to start developing their careers, and they always bring fresh new ideas to the operation.”

For big hotels and restaurants, having interns on their staff reverberates directly on the labor cost. Managers and chefs know that with proper guidance and with the right profiles, interns are indispensable for high and low seasons.

On the other hand, these internships have a downside, restaurant group and other food and beverage operations seize the opportunity to cut down labor cost and demand much more out of their interns. Many journalists have openly reported these conducts and conditions some interns have experienced. The industry is moving on an innovative path and becoming more aware of mental and emotional health. Is this the moment to abolish a tradition? Are there any laws that protect interns?