CULINARY: Teaching Update

We’re heading toward the end of our BASIC COOKING 1 class at Cincinnati State Technical & Community College’s Midwest Culinary Institute… We just finished the 1st night of the 8th week (out of 9 weeks), which means we’ve got three more class meetings ahead of us before the end of the term.

Last night I lectured on Sandwiches (Chapter 22 in Gisslen’s PROFESSIONAL COOKING 6th Ed, for those of you following along at home) and we executed our labwork for that chapter as well. My students made Club, Hot Ham & Cheese, and Submarine sandwiches, and all of these sandwiches rated between “good” and “awesome”. The students continued their focus on presentation of their food with some nice presentations arriving at the chef’s table.

This Thursday, we’ll be performing a “dry run” of our practical final exam to get the students ready for that exam (which occurs a week from Thursday). During their “dry run”, I will also quiz them with questions to help them prepare for their written final (which happens next Tuesday).

This has been a good class because of the good people in it. Last night, they presented me with an engraved silver fork. There is a story behind this — in culinary school, we mandate the “two spoon tasting method” for tasting products. The explaination of the “two spoon” method is pretty simple… Imagine two spoons, one in your left hand and one in your right hand. The spoon in your right hand goes into the food being tasted and then carefully transfers the food to the spoon in your left hand, which goes in your mouth. This preserves the sanitation of the food items and minimizes use of tasting spoons.

Well, I understand the “two spoon” concept completely, but for some reason am unable to reliably coordinate my left & right hands, so I tend to (loudly) mess up and use the wrong spoon fairly often — grabbing food with the right spoon and putting it into my mouth, for example, much to the delight of my students. I jokingly said, “someone needs to get me a nice fork or spoon for tasting to help me remember”, and my students thoughtfully gave me the fork (which is engraved, “Yes Chef”) to help me remember them (and to properly execute the “two spoon method”). A very nice, thoughtful gift.

I will be teaching BASIC COOKING 1 again in the Spring term, and look forward to teaching BASIC COOKING 2 in the Summer term.

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