President´s Message Jan. 2011
Dear Members, Friends and Colleagues;
Greetings on behalf of the HKCA with best wishes to a happy, prosperous and healthy New Year 2011.
With the vast approach in relation to New Year’s Resolutions, time is of essential to plan well ahead.
• HKCA AGM, March 14, 2011
I would like to highlight the upcoming HKCA AGM, which will take place on March 14, 2011 at the Hong Kong Jockey Club Race Course, Happy Valley. More info will be mailed soon to you. Please mark your diary.
• HKCA Website
You may have noticed that we have upgraded our HKCA website. Heinz Fischer has made tremendous effort to give our website a new look which also incorporate latest software for easier uploading of information’s. Many thanks to Heinz and all supporter’s for a well-done job. Please visit us again on-line.
• WA Oceanafest 2011, March 20-22, 2011
Our National Culinary Team under the guidance of Chef Mak Kam Kui are in preparation to compete during the Pacific Rim Restaurant of Champions & Salon Olympia Culinary Competition which is organized by the Australian Culinary Federation of Western Australia. The first trial dinner was held on January 10 with good results.
On behalf of the HKCA committee, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation and thanks to all sponsors and supporters who have greatly contributed to the ability that we can participate. The greatly appreciated sponsorship towards the wellbeing of our association and National Culinary Team is of mutual benefits and a sign of confidence, team spirit and the belief in accomplishments.
• German Trade Test System in Western Cuisine
Training classes in the preparation to the upcoming German Trade Test System in Western Cuisine with enrollment of 4 Master Chefs, 18 Trainer Chefs and 44 Certified Cooks have been commenced.
The "Trade Test System in Western Cuisine" is designed to enhance the technical skills and knowledge of professional chefs. As students’ progress through the system, the course contents include a widening focus on management knowledge and skills. Certificates issued by the HITDC are also endorsed by the Director of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce Koblenz, Germany. This professional qualification is recognized by all European Union countries.
• The T-Hotel – Trainee Operated Hotel in Hong Kong
The Hospitality Industry Training and Development Centre (HITDC) of VTC are proud to introduce the latest addition on training activities to trainees. The T-Hotel is currently in Soft Opening and is now taking reservations for guest stays. The main purpose for the T-Hotel is for students of all hospitality courses on offer at HITDC to train, so in staying in the hotel you or your guests need to understand that the trainees will be serving them as part of their course and have not yet fully completed their training. This interaction with the Public is an important component in their training and allows them to put into practice the knowledge they have gained throughout their training in a guest contact setting. The T-Hotel has 30 rooms and has both Ocean View Rooms and Mountain View Rooms available. Each room has both a shower and bath and there is also free Wi-Fi in each room as well as in the lounge. Other services include 24 hour In-Room Dining, a Gym and a Business Centre. All rooms are non-smoking. The trainees of the HITDC are operating the reservations office and can offer you various rates depending upon the date and availability required.
• WACS Recognition of Quality Culinary Education
The Hospitality Industry Training and Development Centre (HITDC) of VTC recently was awarded the “Recognition of Quality Culinary Education” by the World Association of Chefs Society (WACS). After submitting evidence of offered culinary programs, mission, goals and objectives to the WACS Education Committee, all Western Food Preparation Courses of HITDC have met or exceeded WACS Standards of Quality Culinary Education.
The received accolade in an addition to further motivate, arouse and promote life-long learning concepts to chef trainees whom peruse a career in the Hospitality Industry. It further gives assurance to stakeholders of the quality of training young chefs underwent at HITDC. Furthermore, the recognition illustrate that the governance of qualified training by Instructors in regards to cooking and service objectives are equally focused on the new generation of young industry people through its education and training programmes and the provision of career opportunities are upheld.
On behalf of the management here at HITDC, we would like to thank the WACS Education Committee for the endorsement of Recognition of Quality Culinary Education to HITDC of VTC.
• (Past Event) HKCA Raclette and Fondue Night
The annual event and perhaps a good reason to attend whiles unable to visit Switzerland during Christmas Seasons were the HKCA Raclette and Fondue Night at the prestigious Pacific Club.
The Pacific Club, famous for its long reputation as a leading Private Members Club caters to its members a large variety of International Cuisine. As the Club is headed by Swiss General Manager Rene Holenweger and Swiss F&B Manager / Executive Chef Urs Besmer, the event was of no shortfall of tradition we greatly expected.
As Hong Kong is home to estimate 60% of Swiss National Hoteliers and Chefs, the event was a must to attend. A buffet comprising of high quality Swiss delicacies of cooked, cured and marinated meats, cheeses, salads, breads, desserts, ice creams and chocolates; partly manufactured by Swiss Nationals in Hong Kong or freshly imported; were on choice.
The highlight of Swiss Raclette with New Potatoes or Rösti as well as the traditional Neuchâteloise” Cheese Fondue prepared at the table side was worth waiting. The traditional Fendant Swiss Valley 2009 and Pinot Noir Swiss Valley 2009 were served alongside whiles a wide variety of Schnapps where on offer after the service. As tradition says that if a man loses his bread in the caquelon (fondue pot), he buys drinks all around, and if a woman does, she must kiss her neighbors. Surely our table where awaiting ladies to attend free seating which whiles each gentlemen paid full attention to their tradition.
The entire event was co-sponsored by Advantage, Mövenpick and La Rose Noire.
On behalf of the HKCA, we would like to extend our sincere appreciation and thanks to the Management of the Pacific Club and its General Manager Mr. Rene Holenweger for granting us access to their prestige facility which would have not been possible without their approval.
Special appreciation and great thanks goes to Mr. Urs Besmer and his F&B team for their dedication in providing excellent first class cuisine and service to members of the HKCA and Hong Kong Hospitality Industry as well to our co-sponsors-Advantage Source Market for the Swiss Wines, La Rose Noire for Swiss Chocolates and Bread and Mövenpick for Swiss Premium Ice Cream.
• The last word: “It’s the time of the Year”
As we all know and perhaps experienced it as an annual event, I am concerned on the issue.
Even with unemployment, the supply of qualified workers is limited. Do you interview applicants you once ignored? They may not seem bright enough, quick enough or presentable, but no-one else applied! They also need more coaching and supervision than you´re used to...welcome to the new century.
This is tough on managers who need staff with good skills, ready to go. They don´t mind showing newcomers where things are, but they expect basic work-readiness. Managers now need more sophisticated training skills, and a willingness to work with staff who they once regarded as ´dull´.
Regular reviews can pick up issues well in advance. Whether it´s a Performance Review or a regular ´how´s it going´ chat, open conversation with employees gives them the space for honesty and sharing their plans. When was the last time this happened?
Difficulties finding the right people to fill available jobs, however, come at a price not only to the individual firm, but also to the economy as a whole.
A labor market that is unable to supply qualified workers can only result in sub-optimal growth in the small business sector and the economy. In the short-term, small employers struggle with the task of ensuring that production can fulfill their customer demand. Alternative strategies, such as overtime hours and greater capital investment, may be a partial solution for some firms. For others, there may be no cost-effective alternative but to lose out on business opportunities.
Most important, however, is the negative impact that a persistent shortage of qualified workers has on the firm, the unemployed, and the economy over the long haul.
Sound familiar? No-one wants good staff leaving, ever, but if it´s going to happen, let´s make sure it´s organized and with plenty of notice. They´re more likely to do it the right way if they know what you want.
From all of us here at the HKCA, all the very best to all of you, happy cooking and “Kung Hei Fat Choi” for the coming Year of the Rabbit.