Master’s degree transforms chef into proud restaurant owner
When alumnus Vikrant Mohite realised his career as a chef wasn’t moving forward in India, he took the bold step of travelling to Australia to study a Master of International Hospitality Management (MIHM) at Le Cordon Bleu Adelaide. Today he is the proud owner of Salt 'n Peppa Cafe Ristorante.
Vikrant was working as a Manager for a fast-food restaurant in Mumbai, when he left his full-time job to study at Le Cordon Bleu in Australia. Having already studied a Bachelor of International Hotel Management in Goa, India, Vikrant had already worked as a chef for 2 years in a five-star hotel in Mumbai, training on the job.
“I chose Le Cordon Bleu because my teachers, and other students from my university said Le Cordon Bleu was the only hospitality school worth going to.” Vikrant wanted to move his career forward by growing his knowledge of the industry with a Master of International Hospitality Management.
Vikrant was delighted with how easy it was to find work in Adelaide, walking into a part-time job at local restaurant Café Vagabondo on his third day. Realising he could keep his culinary career moving forward while studying a master’s degree, Le Cordon Bleu gave Vikrant a new perspective on how to become a hospitality manager, inspiring his journey from cook to restaurant owner.
A Work Integrated Learning (WIL) placement in Darwin as a Sous Chef at Holiday Esplanade introduced Vikrant to the Northern Territory, where he has lived since graduation.
In August 2017 Vikrant opened his own restaurant, Salt and Peppa. “I’ve had the restaurant for 18 months, it was number 1 (for five years) on Trip Advisor. Ratings were high already from the previous owners, but I’ve had to implement vegan and vegetarian options to stay in touch with consumer trends and feedback.” Vikrant says he’ll change the menu according to customer feedback allowing for his broader perspective as both chef and owner.
The MIHM gave me a great framework to work within, I was able to teach himself new things and learn the skill of learning.
In a few years, Vikrant hopes to hire a chef/manager to run Salt & Peppa, and to buy another business. “Once I’ve reached the point of wanting to open another restaurant, I’ll find the people. I need to do all the research and due diligence first.”
Grateful for the skills learned in his Master of International Hospitality Management, Vikrant says: “Thanks to my Master’s degree, I can write a strategy, I can implement my plans with a structure in place, I understand the loopholes, and the potential risks. Today I can write that business plan because of my studies.”
Vikrant gives the following advice to graduates based on his own experience that you need to love what you do. “First thing is, you have to love what you do, if you’re counting hours you’ll never make it in this industry. You need to be super-efficient, you need to know everything from bell boy job through to manager. Don’t be scared to start at the bottom, ask questions and do the hard yards.”
CRICOS 02380M / RTO 4959