learn at culinary school

What Do You Usually Learn at Culinary School?

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Regardless of what your preference is, food is a fool-proof tool to bring people together, convey emotion, and provide sustenance. However, cooking food is an art. Some people are good at it, others not so much. We all know someone who can cook a meal unlike anything else and they are famous for it. We also know someone who couldn’t cook something worthwhile if their lives depended on it.

But the thing with food is that you can always learn. The people around you who can cook well didn’t even know how to cut an onion, but over time, they learned and fine-tuned their craft. For some people, home is the best place to learn. However, attempting to learn at a culinary school is the next best option, especially if you’re looking to become a professional chef. Just like any school, culinary school teaches you how to cook. It teaches you the basics and progresses all the way to advanced-level cooking.

Learning At A Culinary School

This article is going to discuss what it’s like learning at a culinary school, and more importantly, what you learn at a culinary school.

The Basics

Before starting anything, you need to know how to do the most basic tasks. When learning a language, you first have to learn the alphabet. In culinary school, this starts with learning what certain utensils do, how to use them, where to use them, and what to use them on. Once you have gained a hold over this, you start with basic processes such as learning how to cut onions or trimming the fat off a piece of beef. As time goes on and you gain more experience, you progress through the levels.

Once you have learned what certain knives do and how to use certain, how to prepare ingredients, and how to cook them, you progress onto the cooking. The most basic cooking starts with a sauce or soup. Next, they will teach you how to clean, cut, and prepare vegetables along with different ways to cook eggs. These skills are important because they are often the foundation on which the rest of the dish depends. Almost every cuisine uses vegetables, eggs, sauces, and soup.

After you have learned how the basics work, it is now time to graduate to the next level.

The Cuisines

Cuisines at culinary school

In the world of cooking, there is a multitude of cuisines to choose from. They say that the art of cooking is the art of adaptation. When it comes to cooking, different cuisines are essentially different adaptations of the same ingredients. Beef, cheese, onions, tomatoes, and flour can end up as a pizza in Italy but as a pie in England.

Yes, you can get a pizza in England and a pie in Italy, but the cuisines are different at their core. In culinary school, with access to a full fledged kitchen with all the pots, pans, knives, spoons, forks, and stoves, you will be taught how different cuisines work, how they treat different ingredients, and their cooking methods.  

Different cuisines require different levels of effort to learn. Some are simpler than others and require more practice. Sometimes, they operate independently, and sometimes, they will overlap with one another.

Similar to regular school, culinary school will also start you out with the basics and eventually build you up towards tougher tasks. However, regardless of cuisine or level, you won’t stop cutting vegetables, cleaning meat, straining pasta, and so on. There are some basics that will always stick with you, and it is the stuff that goes on top that will have varying levels of difficulty.

The Skills

In culinary school, you learn how to cook, but then again, there is so much that goes into cooking. It starts from when you wash the ingredients in the sink and progresses to preparing them for cooking. Next, there are many ways to cook a dish, and choosing the right one is important. When all is done, you need to make sure the dish and combination of ingredients going into it all taste good together, or else, your effort goes to waste. Cooking is an art form and you need to have control over the art form in order for you to master it.

This mastery comes from trial and error. You don’t cut a filet impeccably on the first try. You don’t mince your vegetables evenly the first time. You don’t bake those cookies to perfection at the right time. When cooking, all of these things come to you over time and after you practice. There are thousands of recipes for you to follow or you could go down a different route and make one yourself.

Use a recipe as a reference and build on it or start from scratch entirely. Regardless, it will take time and practice to get better at it. When you are in culinary school, this becomes easier because the environment is conducive to such learning. Having utensils, stoves, ingredients, teachers, and peers make it easier for you to set off on your cooking journey.

The wonderful thing about food is that there are many types of it. For example, you have entrees, main courses, desserts, Hors d’oeuvres, and other types to choose from. Moreover, some chefs choose to work with certain ingredients such as meat or fish. They might pick a cuisine to master, such as Japanese or Italian. Some people might choose to become pastry chefs while others might want to master the art of barbeque.

Final Thoughts

For anyone who wants to learn cooking and make a profession out of it, culinary school is the perfect place to go. Culinary school is where you learn all forms of culinary arts in the right environment with the right tools and instructions.