A frightening combination. Career starters who want to specialize after their training usually have to do this on their own – for example, through good stations during their years of travel as a young chef or self-organized internships. Both are time-consuming and costly, especially when it comes to learning from the best in the industry worldwide.
The Fundaziun Uccelin is now looking for new talents!
In 2016, Andreas Caminada established the Fundaziun Uccelin (Rhaeto-Romanic for “little bird”), a foundation to promote young service and kitchen talent. After the training program of the first scholarship holders has recently started, the foundation is again looking for young talents from March 1 to 31.
“Of course, there are already continuing education programs in the industry, but they all work toward standardized degrees. None provides individual support with a view to personal career goals,” explains the three-star chef. This is precisely where Fundaziun Uccelin comes in: “Our foundation is aimed at those young people who already have a certain amount of professional experience and know in which direction they want to develop. We offer them the chance to broaden their horizons and to gain new impressions in a carefree way for six months in the best restaurants around the world,” reads a video message released by the Graubünden native on the occasion of the first round of applications last fall.
The first four scholarship holders are on the road with Tanja Grandits, Nenad Mlinarevic, Massimo Bottura, Joachim Wissler, Dan Barber and Daniel Humm
At the beginning of February, the first four fellows from Austria, Portugal and Switzerland started their 20-week training program. In addition to stations in Switzerland, such as with exceptional chef Tanja Grandits in Basel or shooting star Nenad Mlinarevic in Vitznau, the hopefuls gain valuable international experience. Luminaries of the culinary scene such as Massimo Bottura, Joachim Wissler, Dan Barber or Daniel Humm support the Fundaziun Uccelin and enable the “little birds” to get to know the working methods in their renowned restaurants. “With the support of more than 40 chefs, restaurateurs and producers, the young talents can get a differentiated insight into the world’s culinary diversity and thus strengthen the quality of our craft,” Caminada said.
In addition to financial and organizational support, the scholarship also includes training sessions with affineurs or winemakers and accompanying coaching to ensure a lasting learning effect.
Swiss and international chefs as well as service talents can apply. “We are looking for young people who are passionate about the profession. Who really enjoy cooking or dealing with guests and also want to pursue this in the long term. That’s who we’re going to support – not future hotel managers,” says Andreas Caminada, explaining his expectations for the selection of scholarship recipients.
The maximum of three candidates per practical phase can choose their own individual stations from the foundation’s network according to the modular principle. “Everyone does it differently. As a chef, I can say: I’m interested in South America, I want to work for Virgilio Martinez in Peru for a few weeks. Or I want to learn more about the cuisine in Scandinavia or Spain and look for establishments there. That’s inspiring and extremely eye-opening for the opportunities our industry offers,” says the native of Graubünden, speaking from his own time as a young chef in Vancouver. In addition, contributions and tuition fees for further school education will be covered for another scholarship holder.
Such foundations already exist in music and the arts, and Andreas Caminada also hopes for more initiatives: “We won’t be the only ones. We hope that there will be many more such support programs in the future, so that gastronomy becomes more attractive again.” The new application round for the practical phase starting in September 2017 runs from March 1 to 31, 2017. [button color=”black” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”newwindow” url=”http://uccelin.com/stiftungsangebot-1/”]Apply now![/button]