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Friday, November 5, 1999 Published at 12:58 GMT


Chefs go back to curry school

The academy provides in-house training for restaurants

A university is launching the UK's first curry academy.

The Academy of Asian Culinary Arts (AACA) at Thames Valley University is aimed at keeping the skills of Asian cooking alive.

It provides training for people of all ages, offering those working in the industry a chance to improve their skills in both cooking and serving food.

Celebrity chefs give demonstrations at the academy, which also provides in-house training for restaurants, and offers a certificate and diploma in Asian food preparation and cooking.

The academy was set up in response to skills shortages in the South Asian culinary industry, which has undergone massive expansion in the UK.

[ image: The university has a number of well-established cookery courses]
The university has a number of well-established cookery courses
Curry can now claim to be the UK's national dish, served by thousands of Indian restaurants and takeaways across the country.

The academy, which has specialised kitchens and equipment, was set up with a £285,000 grant from the Government Skills Challenge Fund.

University spokeswoman Fara Carty said: "The Asian food market needed this facility. The younger generation of Asian people often chooses not to join the family business and work in the industry, so skills are not passed on.

"It's a way of maintaining the traditions, such as knowledge of blending spices and mixing ingredients."

The academy is holding its official launch on National Curry Day on Tuesday, 9 November.

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