From baking cakes to carving fruits to arranging flowers, the hospitality festival at ITM - Institute of Hotel Management (IHM) had it all.
Inter-college festivals across the city are commonplace at this time of the year. While popular events like dance, band competitions etc. are synonymous to most festivals, each one attempts to stand out with a few unique competitions in tune with the organising team’s academic programme. ‘Elements 2015’, a festival organised by The ITM-Institute of Hotel Management (ITM-IHM) focused on different events in the hospitality sector. “We choose the name to represent different elements of nature. Earth, water and fire related to housekeeping, food and culinary skills respectively,” said Priyanka Sutane, a final year hotel management student who was part of the organising team.
One of the popular events ‘Chef Craft’ involved presenting artistically carved fruits and vegetables. An assortment of fruits and vegetables was provided and contestants were given a couple of hours to showcase their skills using traditional and new fruit making techniques. “It was pleasing to the eye. A chef from one of the top hotels carved a watermelon to make it look like a rose,” said Parkhi Batra, a student from Apeejay Institute of Hospitality. According to Batra, the festival maintained a healthy balance between entertainment and having industry relevant events.
One important aspect of most college festivals is that industry experts are called in as judges thus giving students the opportunity to network or get noticed. “A judge was so impressed with the skills of one of the participants that he said he would emulate him next time he was at work. That gives students a lot of encouragement,” said Sagar Chitre, faculty member ITM-IHM while speaking about the cocktail competition. This event named ‘Desi Videsi’ required participants to prepare and present a cocktail within 10 minutes. “While visually appealing, it is difficult to finish the preparation within the given time and make it all look good at the same time,” adds Sutane.
Similarly, the cake making event required participants to bake a cake that represented a theme within three hours. “Right from basic frosting to carving out intricate details, time was certainly at a premium,” said Aditi Wajpe who along with her teammate Kripa Nichani won the competition. Their cake represented a baker as a tribute to all the cake makers of the world. When asked about the twists and time constraints in most events, Chitre said that it was what the hospitality industry demanded. “It is a fast paced industry. Students must be ready to meet challenges without wasting much time. For example, even if there is an order outside the menu, they must be capable of delivering it quickly,” he said.
In addition, the festival also comprised of events that focused on front office behaviour, bed making, flower arrangement etc. “Ultimately, the organising the festival itself is a relevant learning experience for all the students. With each passing year, the flow of events and overall management of the festival has improved,” signs off Chitre.