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Welcome to this month’s edition of Food for Thought! We have had a busy month since Easter, celebrating Mother’s Day in many countries around the world, celebrating Eid and of course enjoying time with our children over the school holidays.

This month’s edition has some special photos of our team spending time with loved ones. If you have ever wondered what our team does when they are not looking after our students then see who they love spending time with. Some of us have to spend time with our loved ones via Zoom or Facetime. Ingrid even reads to her grandchildren each evening as they are based in the USA. Rax took a week off over Eid to spend time with his beautiful wife Tandra and they had a great holiday where there was no Wi-Fi (good thinking Rax), totally getting away from work. We’re glad you are back now.

There’s still time to enrol on our Cake Baking and Decorating course for our end of May intake (we have included a 10% off discount offer for you). We have over 64 enrolments on the course already this month. Chef Ben is excited to be hosting two baking webinars that you really do not want to miss. The first one is on cake baking faults and the second one will be a demonstration of icing techniques. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to secure your space on the webinar.

Chef Andy did not want to let Eid go without trying a traditional dish and so we have a Chicken Korma recipe for you. This one was done using a Themomix, but a good old-fashioned pot on the stove will be equally as good to produce this delicious curry.

Sebastian, our German blogger based in France, has produced another one of his reports on the course, which is always a good read and it’s interesting to hear a real-life person’s experience while studying online from a far away place. We love to hear that our lecturer’s support is global, and no one feels alone when studying with us no matter where they live in the world.

New Zealand Certificate in Cookery Level 4, 31st MAY intake is open for more information get in touch: [email protected]

If your like us and you LOVE food, give our food trivia quiz a go.

Happy reading – Cheryl Cordier 


Online Cooking in New Zealand!



At the beginning of the training, there is a comprehensive introduction to the programme and the different possibilities to work on the platform. In addition, each student gets a mentor who accompanies them throughout the programme and is available to answer any questions.

My mentor, Danniélla Loock, cooks and lives in South Africa. We have a regular call during which I can discuss everything that has come up during the week with her. The personal support is a big advantage. If I have problems with binding in sauces, I can talk to someone about it and ask where I made the mistake.

In addition to the mentors, there is the possibility to exchange ideas with other students in a Facebook group. Some have fulfilled their dream after the training and work in different kitchens around the world.

For people who use the training to travel the world, the network is beneficial.

During the introduction, in addition to personnel hygiene, there is an overview of the different fields of activity in the catering, hotel industry and then knives are sharpened, and vegetables are cleaned, peeled, cut, diced or chopped.

Knives are important; they are one of the most important tools of the trade for chefs, so everyone should know the right way to use them. Fish should not be filleted with paring knives and chef’s knives should not be used for opening oysters.

HACCP – Lessons from the Space Programme

This is a programme developed for NASA in 1959 for the production of astronaut food. The abbreviation stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points – i.e. a hazard analysis with appropriate countermeasures. It involves analysing and documenting the entire production process and carrying out checks at critical points.

Everyone who processes food and puts it into circulation should be able to demonstrate a corresponding concept. The exercise is accordingly extensive, as an HACCP plan is to be drawn up for a kitchen.

Everything should be looked carefully, as there is a test waiting for you at the end of the lesson.

Calculating food: washing, cleaning and cooking loss

Washing is washing as everyone knows it, freeing from impurities: Soil, sand and bugs. Cleaning is about freeing food from stem attachments, tendons, bones, shell, etc.

If you buy a whole fish, you must carefully consider whether it is cheaper to remove the fillet yourself or to have it removed by the supplier and pay the extra price.

With some ingredients there is also a cooking loss.

Get to the pot

After all the theory, I am looking forward to the cooking pot and a minestrone is the perfect dish to apply the newly acquired knowledge from the previous lessons. Hygiene, safety, mise en place and of course organization in the workplace.

Compared to a “classic” apprenticeship, there is of course no practical training, but a compulsory work placement is part of the training. Here, the learning content is deepened, otherwise you can cook and work properly at home.

Mistakes are part of it and as long as there are not too many “drastic” mistakes, the programme can be mastered well.

The introduction is successful and gives the cooks a good overview of the future working environment.

More information about the training can be found on the homepage of the International Culinary Studio.

– Sebastian Heuser 
Specialist Journalist
Gastronomy Food and Beverage 

What’s On The Menu?


Chicken Korma

We thought we’d share this classic recipe. Korma originates in northern India and appeals to all taste palates, ranging from mild to medium-hot for a family-friendly dish. Tender chicken is cooked in a gravy made with onions and fragrant whole spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves!



Serves: 4-6 people

Origin of dish: India 

Degree of Difficulty: *


Korma Spice Blend ingredients:

25g Cumin Seeds

25g Coriander Seeds

1 ½ Cinnamon quills

20 Green Cardamon Pods

Method for spice blend:

In a pan add all of the spices over a medium heat, and gently heat up until the Cumin, coriander seeds start to crackle and pop. Remove from the heat and then set one side to cool down, approximately 5 minutes. Once the spices have cooled down completely, add into a blender and blitz until all the spices have all been ground up.


  1. In a pot, add the ghee, bay leaves, whole cloves, diced onion, chopped ginger, garlic, and chili. Sauté on a gentle heat for approximately 5 minutes.
  2. Add the turmeric, salt, cashew nuts, korma spice blend and gently stir in.
  3. Add the tomato paste and stir in until all is incorporated. This will become thick and almost a paste.
  4. Remove from the heat and place into a blender and blend until smooth.
  5. Place the blended mixture back into the pot and add pour in the fresh cream, plain yoghurt and the Garam Masala and bring to a gentle simmer.
  6. Add the diced chicken pieces and gentle stir through the mixture.
  7. Simmer for approximately 12-15 minutes until the chicken has cooked through.
  8. Season to taste with salt.
  9. Place into a serving bowl and sprinkle with fresh coriander leaves and serve.

Serving Suggestion:

Serve with steamed Jasmin Rice and Roti on the side.


500g Deboned Chicken Breast – diced

30g Ghee

2 Dried Bay Leaves

2 Whole Gloves

125g Brown Onion – diced

25g Fresh Ginger – chopped

3 Fresh Garlic Cloves – chopped

50g roasted Cashew Nuts

1 whole red chili – deseeded and chopped

½ tsp Salt

½ tsp Turmeric

25g Tomato Paste

30g Korma Spice Blend – see notes

150 ml fresh pouring Cream

100g Plain Yoghurt

1 Table Spoon Garam Masala

Fresh coriander leaves for garnish


 Chefs Tip:

For an intense aromatic Korma flavour, coat the diced chicken breast meat in the Korma Spice blend for 40 -60 minutes before adding into the Korma cooking sauce.


Trivia Questions About Food! 

  1. Which dish from Spain traditionally includes saffron rice, seafood, chicken, chorizo, and peas?
  2. What is the most commonly used oil in Chinese cooking?
  3. What ingredient makes bread rise?
  4. What is meant by the term ‘al dente’ in Italian cooking?
  5. An enchilada is from which cuisine?
  6. In cooking, what is cutting herbs or vegetables into very fine strips called?
  7. In cooking, what would you use a dredger for?
  8. What is the main ingredient in falafel?
  9. Black Forest cake originates from which country?
  10. A pimento is what type of vegetable?



Answers: 1 Paella, 2 Peanut oil, 3 Yeast, 4 It means “to the tooth”, it describes the perfect texture of cooked pasta, 5 Mexican, 6 Chiffonade, 7 To sprinkle flour or sugar lightly, 8 Chickpeas, 9 Germany, 10 Pepper.

Special times with our Families and Friends!

Our employees are based all around the world and we asked them to share some photos of their families with you. 




Shhhhhh – Don’t tell everyone but we have a special on all our short courses until the end of May.

Enrol and use the code “ICS10” to receive a 10% discount at the checkout.



Cake Baking Methods and Identifying Faults Webinar 

Chef Ben will be hosting a LIVE webinar on WEDNESDAY, MAY 25, 2022 AT 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM.

He will go through all different kinds of faults and how to correct them. As well as going through the ins and outs of each step of the caking process, from the creaming the butter and sugar to folding in the dry ingredients.

Look forward to seeing you there.

Join Zoom Meeting