On November 6th and 7th, the first part of the International Pilot Blended Skills Competition took place, as part of TEF – Tourism Education of the Future project, co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme. This competition has two strands: online, where students work remotely, and face-to-face.
During these days, three students from Fatima Hospitality School cookery course, together with a same number of colleagues from International University of Sarajevo, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Apro Formazione, in Italy, were online via TEAMS platform for two sessions. The first to present the main gastronomic characteristics of each country and regions where they are based; and the second where, after watching a masterclass on reducing food waste conducted by the teacher William Tullio of Apro Formazione, they debated in transnational teams on how to apply the concepts learned in the kitchen, at home and in restaurants, under the guidance of a lecturer from one of the participating countries.
The following week, on Nov. 14 and 15, transnational teams consisting of an Italian, a Portuguese and a Bosnian student were hosted in Fátima for the face-to-face gastronomic skills competition.
The event began on November 14th morning when, after a welcome session by FHS’s Technical and Pedagogical Director, the participants attended a lively lecture entitled “Creativity in the Kitchen”, given by Sérgio Fernandes, chef and owner of Belpaço Restaurant. The students were then divided into three transnational teams – one student per country – which were challenged to create a starter, a main course or a dessert based on Mediterranean cuisine. Preparations had to be designed from a list of ingredients from which up to 12 items could be taken from the dozens of existing options.
The groups discussed and planned for about two hours. The starter was called “The smell of autumn”; the main course “Chef’s chicken roll”; and the dessert “Canoli candle of Fátima”. Gathered in the classroom, they filled in the necessary preparation documents in English: the characterisation of the dish and the detailed requisition of the necessary materials and ingredients.
On 15th, they “got their hands dirty”, working as a team in one of the training kitchens, and submitted the three final products to the jury: three teachers / chefs, one from each participating school, whose conclusions led to the final classification. The students practised their English by working in international teams, improved their ability to perform under pressure and practised critical thinking/creativity, all while having fun and enjoying unforgettable experiences.