Technical training, whether theoretical or practical, carried out at Sala Baï or during internships at our partner hotels, is at the heart of the Sala Baï course as it accounts for 70% of the teaching. Seeking to keep up with market trends and to meet the demand of hotels, the Sala Baï trainers regularly undergo training themselves. In March 2018, the experience over two weeks with the La Rochelle hotel school was slightly different. Three teachers and three students specialised in cooking came to Sala Baï, not only to train our teachers but also our students over this long period.
If the teachers and students from La Rochelle were to remember one thing about Sala Baï it would be the motivation of the students and their thirst for learning. “They are very attentive, make a great effort to understand recipes in English and to reproduce techniques”, said Christian, cooking teacher in La Rochelle who taught the students a new way of reducing a sauce. “They concentrate very hard on their work”.
Learning new techniques, using new ingredients, working on the presentation of dishes, on the creativity of recipes from a taste as well as a visual point of view were all areas that were focused on. This teaching was directly applied over 10 days, the spotlight was on French gastronomy during the “Siem Reap French Week”, supported by the Chamber of Commerce and the French Embassy. Day after day, the students of Sala Baï became more and more independent in the preparation of dishes such as parmentier de canard braisé or crêpe soufflée aux fruits parfumés au Grand Marnier, to the delight of diners in the restaurant. “I’ve been a teacher at Sala Baï for 10 years and this type of training is invaluable for our students but also for teachers. They brought us their experience, some of them have been teaching for 25 years. They enabled us to discover new techniques and flavours and gave us inspiring ideas for the future”, said Chamroeun, cooking teacher. For their part, the teachers and students from La Rochelle also learnt a lot on how to transfer skills and to adapt.
After two weeks of working together, both students and teachers were keen to go further. In the spirit of openness, the training ended with a presentation by the La Rochelle students of their hotel school. The Sala Baï students were very interested and asked a lot of questions, especially about services offered in their hotel and restaurant. This was a fantastic experience of knowledge sharing and cultural discovery.