As 2021 swiftly unfolded, culinary B-school Kamaxi College of Culinary Arts (KCCA) jostled its way to the global culinary playground by becoming the first in India to welcome a French Master Chef to its faculty team. It’s 2022 now, and Chef Patrick Albert, the gourmet exemplar has already etched an indelible impression on the aspiring culinary leaders at KCCA.
Besides the gastronomical gusto he brings to the table, Chef Patrick exudes an impeccable executive éclat that so evidently epitomises the calibre he contains. From being a starry-eyed seventeen year old who left school to pursue his passion, to attaining the highly coveted title of Maître Cuisinier de France; he has indeed come a long way.
“It’s been a journey of sorts” chef Patrick reflects, “A stint at a classical French restaurant, eight years in Ireland, and three and a half private cook years later, I stayed afloat for twenty-five years in the cruise line industry.” An occupational voyage that was meant to last for a year ended up in a quarter century of vim and vigour.
His background in the fast-paced, high-volume cruiseline circumstance equipped him with all the right skill sets to instil and inspire, construct and conspire, heralding a sea of opportunities for his protégés. Spending ten years as the on-site executive chef at ‘Remy’; an acclaimed restaurant on the ‘Disney Dream’ and ‘Disney Fantasy’ cruises, the seasoned cuisinier coordinated with Michelin-starred chef Arnaud Lallement and 5 Diamonds chef Scott Hunnel.
French culinary arts, both literally and figuratively rule the world. As a recipient of the illustrious title of Maître Cuisinier de France, Chef Patrick Albert holds the honour of being a part of the most exalted class of chefs entrusted with the task of fostering the french culinary arts and aiding professional development.
“Mastering the French cuisine will serve as a foundation for further avenues in the global hospitality realm. Once these techniques, temperaments, courses, and etiquettes are internalised, one’s creative compass can be cleverly redefined,” he shares.
When asked about the skills and traits he wishes to instil in his students, there are four keywords that vehemently ech0: open-mindedness, balance, liberty, and discipline. Being a culinary leader undoubtedly calls for an accepting and appreciative attitude towards myriads of culturally colored cuisines, palettes, and tastes. While balance enables one to stay afloat, it is liberty and discipline that propels professional and personal growth. He adds, “Where discipline offers the framework, liberty catapults creativity, and that is what makes an enterprising culinary leader.
What he desires to instil is a prowess beyond the kitchen- managerial grit, executive ability, and championing communicability. Leveraging the ideals of leadership is the thread that binds the objective of the three structured courses he instructs at KCCA: The BVoc- Culinary Management Programme, Commis Chef- Bakery and Pastry Programme, and Commis Chef- Cruise Culinary Programme.
Curated to meet the intricacies of cruise line demands, the Commis Chef – Cruise Culinary Programme that Chef Patrick instructs, equips students with the necessary experience and expertise to thrive in ever-dynamic industry. For someone who spent 25 years in the cruise line industry, one would expect him to have a hard time adjusting to the role of an educator. However, it doesn’t appear that way for Chef Patrick Albert.
Being a chef on the ship and a captain in the culinary school kitchen isn’t that different, he ascertains. “It was not a transition as such”, he observes, “Educating and imparting knowledge has always been a part and parcel of my role as a chef. From training kitchen staff in professional kitchens, I’m now coaching young, aspiring professionals towards realising their powerful potential.” While his induction into the faculty did not bring a paradigm shift professionally, it was his personal life that underwent a rather refreshing “revolution”.
“It’s as if I’m reintroduced to the concept of normal life”, Chef Patrick chuckles, stating that life on land isn’t the same as that at sea. “Ship life was easy in the sense that it was ‘readymade.’ Everything; right from the room to the meals was taken care of. Now it appears that I’m once again in charge of my life, even if that means doing my bed every morning,” he light-heartedly conveys.
Stepping into the educational sector may not be the same as stepping into a new country, but being in India for the first time is undoubtedly a revelation in itself. “It’s fascinating”, he dawdles as looks back at some of the vivid memories from his time in Goa. Besides being in awe of the trippy tropical weather, he expresses his delight at trying some of the mouth-watering delicacies readily available throughout the state. “The exciting flavours each dish had to offer had me beguiled. Moreover, there’s so many different types of fish that I had never before heard of,” he gasps with gaiety.
Staying in Goa without indulging in the touristy rituals sounds almost bizarre, or even unmentionably foul. While Chef Patrick has done his fair share of exploring, he confesses to not having begun his sightseeing spree in Goa. But one can’t take that to heart if he wants to savour his experience in the state with his loved ones. “There’s no fun in doing it alone,” he chuffs, “I’d love to explore everything that the place has to offer once my wife is here. That’s my next mission.”