What is the Gourmet Food Academy?
The Gourmet Food Academy is a 10 month bespoke programme created for Harrods, to help support our talented Sales Associates, on the various product categories sold in our world famous Food Halls. The programme encourages strong working relationships between our sales divisions and aims to increase each delegates confidence, in the hope they transfer share their knowledge with the rest of their department.
Each module requires delegates to spend a day learning about different food categories, and gives them the opportunity to put their learning into practice, through a series of assessments. By the end of the programme each participant will be awarded an FDQ Level 3 diploma in Gourmet Food, the first of its kind in the UK.
We caught up with Shahid Brahim, a recent delegate from last year’s programme to find out more about his experience.
How did you hear about the Harrods Gourmet Food Academy?
During my appraisal my line manager, at the time, Albina Pobric suggested I apply to join the GFA as it suited my profile and skill set. After hearing about the course through colleagues and previous students who spoke highly of the course, I decided this was an opportunity I would like to explore.
What does it mean to have been awarded this bespoke qualification?
Now that I have successfully completed the course, this has helped broaden my existing skill set and given me more opportunities to progress in my career. Completing this course is a positive stepping stone, and as it is a recognised qualification, it is also an addition to my list of achievements within Harrods.
Talk us through the inspiration behind your favourite winning dish?
This was all down to team work and having regular group discussions. We were allocated Matthew Liddell, as our Head Chef, after exploring a couple of ideas on paper, we narrowed down our options by pros and cons before making our final decision. With Matthew’s support, advice and guidance throughout, we were able to create unique dishes.
Looking to the future, how will this support your day-to day role at Harrods?
The course itself has further developed my skills and knowledge, not only on the products that we sell, but also from the production; why certain foods are made in a specific way, their product of origin and the policies on each food category. The course covered everything we needed to know!
I’m hoping the programme will contribute towards my career in Harrods and I will be happy to share my knowledge to other fellow colleagues and hopefully this will inspire them to participate in the GFA course.