The Stagiaire (スタジエール Sutajiēru) is an annual event undertaken by first-year high school students at Tōtsuki Culinary Academy. The Stagiaire is a series of internships at various culinary facilities, designed to give the students real world occupation training.
It takes place shortly after the Tōtsuki Autumn Election.
Over the course of four weeks, students are assigned to various cooking locations across Japan. They mainly work in both high class and public restaurants, though, some are sent to food processing plants or general cafeterias. The students spend a few days at each the locations they are assigned to, helping out the staff and essentially working as interns. Students may either be assigned to a location alone, or with a partner assigned with them. The true purpose of this assignment is for the students to reflect on their skills and learn to overcome their current limits.
Like the Tōtsuki Friendship and Rapport Training Camp, the Stagiaire is a class whittling event, and it is considered to be the final hurdle for the first-year students before "truly" entering the high school section of Tōtsuki.
Not only are the students supervised by the location manager, but they are also watched by Tōtsuki staff members. Tōtsuki staff members discretely note all actions the students perform during their sessions, even when not in the kitchen.
Because this event is to whittle down more students out of the class, they are assigned to make a "visible accomplishment" at their assigned locations. Students are expected to make their "visible accomplishment" by the end of the week, though, the means of accomplishing this is open to interpretation. Most examples include creating a new dish that is good enough to be added to the restaurants menu, or reforming the working infrastructure for more efficiency. If at any time the Tōtsuki staff members or the location manager feels that the student has not or will not fulfill the "visible accomplishment" requirement by the end of their time there, the student will be expelled.
Social media posts made during the week are documented and used if it will compromize that student's performance and the location's well-being during the week and after.
Still, some location managers have been known to actually speak out in defense of the student due to their already abysmal state of business. In the end, the Tōtsuki staff member will notify them if they have completed their week with a proper visual accomplishment.
According to Senzaemon Nakiri, the Stagiaire is the very last event that eliminates any of the "ordinary" students, leaving behind those who have the talent and mettle to become extraordinary chefs. As a result, the remaining students become targets of the upperclassmen. The upperclassmen begin to challenge the first-years to Shokugekis to test their skills against the first-year's strongest.
- Stagiaire means Trainee in French.