It is always an exciting time for me. I start a new Master Chef Program and on Day 1, I find out what my students are wanting to achieve at the Culinary Classroom. One of my Students, Solange, is Brazilian and French. She has been cooking as a Private Chef for years. She knows that the knowledge I will give her during the next 18 weeks will make her a better cook. As I tell all of my students, you never stop learning.
That is one of the wonderful things about teaching. The Culinary Classroom is celebrating it’s 10th year in business and I am teaching my students more now compared to what I was teaching before I even opened the Culinary Classroom. Whether you are a budding professional or just want to broaden your culinary horizons at home, you will never stop learning. It is one of the fantastic realities in the world of food.
My first night with my students focuses on the knife. After all, if you are not intimate with your knife, if you don’t know how to sharpen it, hone it, store it and hold it, your time in any kitchen is going to be short lived and not enjoyable.
Next is learning how to make basic but commonly used cuts. I demonstrate to the students how to cut various vegetables into Julienne and Dices. I then show them some lesser known cuts such as a Paysanne and Lozenge (I do give out a pop quiz every now and then. So this information is essential to learn.)
Then we enter the kitchen and the students begin to practice. It is going to take repetition, I tell them. You can’t expect to dice an onion once and do it perfectly. You must do it again and again. One of the things I have found is if you repeat the basics enough, they will become second nature. That’s when the real cooking and creativity happens-the more basic tasks become second nature, the more you can concentrate and taking those tasks and creating with them.
So, I send my students home with some reading to do and tell them to practice, if they have the time. Those students who are really driven to get into this business will find the time. Next week, more knife skills and with those skills, we will make the fond de cuisine, Stocks.
You can still join my Program that started last week – in my program that helps you become a Chef! Give me a call and I can get you registered. 310-470-2640 Until I see you here, Cook Well, Eat Well and BE Well! Chef Eric Crowley www.culinaryclassroom.com