Boost your buffet and chef skills

Ahram Online, Wednesday 3 Apr 2013

Teacher and Executive Chef at the Movenpick, Essam Sayed details in a class on 10 April how to make buffets more professional; Ahram Online lists other upcoming cooking classes and food conferences

Did you know that the Egyptian Tourism Federation (ETF)* not only has an academy to train chefs to pass an international certification exam, but also gives one-off classes for anyone working in the food industry?

For instance, on 10 April the ETF will give a class on setting up a professional buffet. Ahram Online asked the teacher of the class, Chef Essam Sayed, the head of the Egyptian Chef's Association Red Sea Chapter and Executive Chef at the Red Sea Movenpick Resort & Spa:

Ahram Online: Who can attend this class on Professional Buffet Setting?

Essam Sayed: This training targets professional chefs working in any kind of food service and who are already using the buffet style. This class might also be useful for home caterers who also already doing buffets to get ideas.


AO: What is the biggest mistake that chefs make in a buffet?

Sayed: It's not a "mistake" but sometimes the food is at the wrong temperature. The safe zone is for cold foods serving it at less than 5 degrees, and for hot foods above 63. Secondly, chefs need to know the nationality of the guests, for instance if there are many Arabs or Egyptians, you cannot make a lot of Asian food. You need to know what they like; not everyone likes to try new foods. Also, sometimes the placement of the food is too difficult to reach. For example, the plates are put in unsuitable stands; the food needs to be simple and easy to get to. Another suggestion is to give descriptions to help people with allergies or highly sensitive eaters. This and much more will be described in detail.

Course covers:
Types of Buffets & Theme Buffets
Presentation of Food Items
Live Cooking Stations
Temperature Control & Food Safety of Items on Buffet
Guest Statistics and Menu Planning (Menu Cycles)
Importance of Standardised Recipes
Food Cost Allocation per Guest / Budget Setting per Meal
Buffet Design & Layout, Taking Into Account Guest and Staff Flow

AO: What's the largest group you've served in a buffet?

Sayed: 3,000. [Stunned pause. He laughs.] It was in Saudi Arabia during the haj [main Islamic pilgrimage], for breakfast, lunch and dinner, for four days. It was high season and a good experience in controling the critical points: to keep the food out of the risk-zone. You have to be careful that the food is healthy and good, ensuring the food is fresh and keep it out of that danger zone.


Wednesday, 10 April
*Safir Hotel, Dokki, Cairo
Professional Buffet Setting Class

*Corrections: Ahram Online had originally published that the academy is run by the ECA and that class would be in 6th of October

Here's a compilation of a few classes and conferences in countries of interest to our Ahram Online readers:


Thursday 11 April, 10am
Cairo, Maadi, Egypt
Mexican cuisine class

Thursday 11 – 14 April
Specialty Coffee Event

Boston, Massachussets, US


Tuesday 9 – 12 April
Biel, Lebanon
HORECA 2013 Hotel and food trade fair

Tuesday 9 & 10 April
OFI: Oils & Fats International Exhibition and Conference
Cairo, Nasr City, Egypt

Monday, April 15, 10am
Egyptian cuisine class

Cairo, Maadi, Egypt

24 April
Roundtable: Malaysian Palm Oil and Its Applications in Cooking
Cairo, Nasr City, Egypt


Monday, 22 April, 10am
Turkish cuisine class
Cairo, Maadi, Egypt

Tuesday May 7-10
EuroFoodChem XVII

Istanbul, Turkey


Thursday 16-19 May
Noosa International Food and Wine Festival
Noosa, Australia


14 – 15 May
Ai Group Confectionery and Food Sector Technical Conference
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

15 – 17 May
AFP's European Symposium on Food Safety

Marseille, France


12-14 June
3rd International Symposium on Gluten-Free Cereal Products and Beverages

Vienna, Austria


NEW to the list!
19 - 21 June, 9am-4pm
Coffee Taster Certificate
Massachusetts, USA


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