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Review Papers

Vol. 4 No. 1 (2022): Beyond COVID-19

Pivoting Culinary Education During COVID-19 Part Two: Embracing Disruption in a World of Change

Submitted
December 31, 2021
Published
2022-03-17

Abstract

This work follows from the article Pivoting Culinary Education During Covid 19 Part 1:Setting the Pedagogic Scene, whereby culinary lecturers from the Food Design Institute, Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand, recall their response to the Covid 19 pandemic and the move to online  learning.

The story starts with New Zealand entering lockdown and the students having only days to return to their hometowns and engage with online learning resources. Student’s initial fears and concerns about the future of their culinary studies are further compounded with media reports about the demise of the hospitality industry. In response to the students’ academic and emotional needs, the lecturers reframe the disruption of Covid 19 as a unique learning opportunity.  The lecturers quickly reposition the course to embrace the new possibilities that exist within a new Covid 19 landscape. In doing so, they alleviate student concerns and prepare them for an alternative culinary future.

The story focuses a second-year culinary arts project, where students have traditionally worked alongside the local food producers and their respective brand identities to develop new food products. Typically, students design and develop artisanal food offerings that would be found for sale at a local farmers’ market or within bespoke food retailer. However, with every shop and farmers market in New Zealand now closed, the students project learning is refocused, and explores how artisanal food products now interact with customers in a virtual online world.

Throughout the course, the lecturers continue to balance the students motivational, social, and academic needs, factors which they know are important in a distance learning environment. This article provides invaluable insights and learnings for culinary educators, who are having to reimagine culinary education in a world of continued lockdown’s and changing consumer purchasing and consumption behaviours.