Masters Programme in Applied Culinary Nutrition - The Institute of Technology Tallaght has developed a unique Masters to enable chefs innovate food for health and wellness in line with current trends. The programme is the first of its kind globally.
Many chefs are challenged by the need to adapt menus for health and wellness to meet customer needs. Underpinned by science and applied research, this programme aims to empower chefs to master this challenge with confidence along with developing a specialism in this area that is practical and strategic for a food business.
Because of the uniqueness and need for the programme Nationally and Internationally three chefs; Derry Clarke, Domini Kemp and Neven Maguire have become the patrons of the programme. As key players in the food industry they and their work has a ‘natural’ relevance and link with the ethos of the programme.
As patrons they are the ambassadors for the programme while also ensuring the programme continues to focus critical attention on; best practice and excellence, innovation and creativity in line with industry trends, and industry practice- led research.
Speaking at the launch, Derry Clarke said “I welcome the initiative taken by IT Tallaght to design this new Masters in Applied Culinary Nutrition for culinary arts graduates. It is a great idea and this will be key to the education and practice of chefs of today and the future. In restaurants today, the changing composition of the restaurant plate needs to be addressed in relation to proteins, starch and vegetables and the chef needs to be able to incorporate alternatives in the dish construction with confidence and creativity”.
Neven Maguire added: “The inclusion of life cycle nutrition and in particular focus on producing nutritional menus for younger consumers (toddlers and children) meets an urgent need in our industry. The incorporation of the flavour science module is innovative and will be of great interest to practicing chefs. Chefs need to have a greater understanding of how the chemistry and physiology of flavour affects the consumer’s meal experience.
This may involve some chefs redeveloping their taste buds in line with current trends e.g. salt content, sugar content in food etc. While the production of ‘healthful’ options should not compromise the flavour of the dish and the meal experience, educating chefs on how this can be done creatively and successfully is key. This programme will assist in bringing our sector of the industry into line with current trends”.
Domini Kemp stated, “Our interest in health is growing at the same rate as health care costs are soaring. To re-focus our ideas about what is truly "healthy", using up-to date nutritional information - that challenges the norms, is what is going to be so exciting about this programme.”
According to Annette Sweeney programme co-ordinator “the programme is underpinned by flavour science, applied food science, nutritional science and research, it brings the student through a different approach to menu design and development, breaking down barriers that may be in place in relation to language of nutritional science; supporting healthier approaches to delivering high impact flavour to expand healthy menu choices and looking at strategies for selling and promoting menu options that rely more on the language of flavour and culinary adventure.
This is the new age of food provision and health is an influential factor in consumer food choice decisions. We in Ireland as a food nation are so well placed to capture and meet this challenge. Our natural foods and wide range of artisan foods have excellent flavour and their freshness, local sourcing and seasonality heighten the nutritional value. Adapting menus to health and wellness can be a forceful marketing strategy for Irish food and food businesses”.
The programme started in September and will run initially as a part-time programme, two evenings a week over two years. Students may exit with a Post-Graduate Diploma in Applied Culinary Nutrition if they do not wish to do the applied research project. Applications open next month for 2016.
For programme details please contact: Annette Sweeney, Programme coordinator, IT Tallaght, Dublin 24. Tel: 01-404 2826 or email: [email protected]