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Meet the students in our Global Culinary Arts and Management Programme, uniquely combining practical culinary skills and higher education in management. The programme is run in partnership with Ritsumeikan University, in Japan’s very first faculty for gastronomic studies.

Hijiri Yamada

Q) Why did you decide to study culinary arts and management in university?
I wanted to choose something that I was passionate about. Growing up, I’ve thought about doing a lot of different things like journalism, education, and even policing. But I’ve always loved food and didn’t want to waste my time in university learning something I wasn’t interested in.

Q) Were you surprised by anything you learned so far?
Everything is an eye-opener for me. From the variety of knives to the down-to-the-millimetre precision in cutting, I’m learning a lot. Our lecturer Gilles-sensei is very interesting. He’s worked in many restaurants abroad before becoming a teacher, so he shares a lot of anecdotes from his experiences. It’s also a great.

Q) What are some of the challenges you are facing in your coursework?
We have a practical component in our classes. Since I basically couldn’t cook before starting the course, improving my culinary techniques has been the biggest challenge. I think I’ve gotten more confident in the kitchen, though.
I have an older brother who is working part-time at an izakaya – they do casual Japanese food. I used to be jealous of how well he cooks, but I recently started cooking for my family 2-3 times a week. I’ve been trying new recipes on my own as well. I recently made a Sachertorte (an Austrian chocolate cake). It tasted great… but didn't look so nice. I guess I still have a long way to go.

Q) How do you envision your career after finishing this course?
I’m not sure yet of what exactly I want to do after graduation, but I want to become someone who can connect people through food. I think I can do that by combining journalism and food.
Honestly, what I’m learning here is so versatile that I think it will be useful in whatever culinary-related career I choose. I’m excited to keep getting inspired and finding out along the way.

The food industry is constantly evolving and with it the need for leaders to manage and shape these changes.
This could be you, embarking on a challenging, yet rewarding career with food.