Anyone who has ever completed their culinary arts degree will tell you how important their internships were to their success. After all, nothing beats real-world experience as you train in a professional kitchen as a culinary arts student. Schools also understand this, which is why many of the top culinary arts schools, such as Enderun Colleges, make it a point to help their students find internships with respectable names in the Philippines and abroad.
Although the current global situation regarding the pandemic makes internships abroad impractical at the moment, this does give students more time to consider which country they should try to visit for their foreign internships–provided that their course offers an internship abroad program. If you are planning to take your culinary internship abroad, you may want to consider doing so in these countries:
France is home to some of the most exquisite cuisine and talented chefs in the world. This is easily seen in the number of Michelin stars the country has, with a grand total of 628 stars in the 2020 Michelin Guide. The goal, of course, is to try to get an internship under a Michelin-starred chef such as Alain Ducasse. However, Paris is not the only place worth taking an internship in. Bordeaux, Lyons, Cannes, Nice, and other cities in this beautiful country are well worth taking your internship in.
France is also rich in culture that is very distinct from our own culture in the Philippines. Many culinary students who were fortunate enough to take their internships in France have called the experience life-changing.
Coming in second place for the most Michelin stars in the 2020 guide is Japan, with a grand total of 577 stars. Japanese chefs are known for their meticulous attention to detail and their drive to provide an excellent customer experience, two qualities any aspiring chef should have in their repertoire. Tokyo is often the top target for internships, but don’t sleep on some of the other key cities in the country. Osaka, also known as “Japan’s Kitchen”, should also be considered.
Life in Japan is fast-paced, lively, and steeped in culture, all of which make an incredible experience for interns. Although there may be initial hesitation for some due to the language barrier, many locals are more than capable of understanding English. You can also easily get by by learning just a few simple phrases like sumimasen and onegaishimasu.
The United States of America
The U.S. boasts a grand total of 169 Michelin stars in the 2020 Guide. Although that isn’t nearly as many as the other two countries on the list, the U.S. is still a fantastic choice due to variety. The U.S. has many culinary hubs, which means you are bound to learn something different depending on where you go. Whether it’s the more Italian-centric New York or the Cajun-spiced New Orleans, you have the option to learn different sets of skills and approaches.
Life in the United States as an intern will be unforgettable for most, especially given how many Filipinos dream of moving to the U.S. Once again, there are a number of choices to choose from. Do you prefer the hustle and bustle of a big city like Chicago or would you like a more relaxed location for your internship? There are many opportunities and experiences out there and the U.S. definitely provides.
Where you should take your internship really boils down to what you want to achieve and learn during your time in a professional kitchen. However, we hope this guide has inspired you to look for the right fit both in terms of your future career and your life as a student. While we wait for things to return to “normal”, it may be a good idea to carefully consider all your options before committing to a place to take your internship