Catering and tourism department in Tartu Vocational Education centre

Tartu Vocational Education Centre is the biggest vocational training centre in Estonia. Our Catering and Tourism Department in turn is the biggest department in the school with over 300 students studying different cooking and catering specialities.

Picture1: Cooking student in the competition

The department staff cooperate closely with enterprises and field specific associations like the Estonian Hotel and Restaurant Associations and AEHT with the goal to provide the best contemporary education to future chefs. We also invite alumni, managers and chefs of partner companies to give guest lecturer and participate in the training process.

Picture 2: Students preparing dishes for the group

Learning environment

In addition to the expertise of the teachers we also provide a contemporary learning environment to our students. In our modern and well equipped study kitchens the students can test out their skills and express their fantasy on the plate. The talented and aspiring students also have a wide range of opportunities for international mobilities and to take part in national and international competitions.

Picture 3: New canteen and kitchen in the Põllu house

The center of our training concept is learning by doing. We teach a lot through practical excercises. Therefore our students actively to practice in our school kitchens and cook for real customers who are their fellow students, teachers and staff of the school, but also guests from general public.

Picture 4: Winner of the competition "Maker of the year 2019" garnishing plates

The students run the study restaurant Meliss, organise different themed catering events and provide food to participants in the largest sports competitions in Estonia including Tartu Marathon events. The students also get the opportunity to work in the high profile catering events like the official receptions of the Minister of Education and Science and President of the Republic.

Picture 5: Study restaurant Meliss

Meat culinary competence center

As the school has a department specialising in food production our cooking and catering students also get to hone their baking and confectionary as well as meat cutting and preparation skills under the supervision of our food production teachers.

Picture 6: Tartu VEC student participating in "Nordic/Baltic Gourmet Butcher 2019"

We have a meat culinary competence center established in the school that also offers a 3 week ECVET course for international students. We launched the course in 2018 and so far we have welcomed Erasmus+ mobility students from Denmark, Latvia and Lithuania.

Picture 7: Nordic/Baltic Gourmet Butcher 2019 Danish meat products exposition

Keio Kaarlõp & Sigrid Tani, Tartu VEC