Learn to hold a knife; it is the most important hand tool in the professional kitchen. Respect the food you cook, time and care was spent to give you the best ingredients. Remember; use the earth’s bounty to bring joy to your customer by seasoning it well. Move in your work environment with confidence and precision, a confused mind becomes mediocre in output. Love your profession, without passion the world becomes black and white, without substance and meaning.
Jaques Pepin was one of the first French chefs to stress the importance of learning basic cooking skills. He felt so strongly about it, that he wrote two ground breaking cooking books La Technique in 1976 and La Methode in 1979. These two books are a must have for young cooks who are serious about improving their cooking skills. To learn more about his contribution to the world of the culinary arts visit his website at jaquespepin.com
Culinary students are expected to graduate at the end of their program with a basic grasp of cooking and managerial skills. The question is, are the lessons learned in the classroom enough to make you a good cook? The answer is no, skills learned in the classroom must be tempered by real world experience.
Students need to look beyond the physical demands of the culinary labs, cutting onions, carrots and celery for mirepoix or creaming butter and sugar for a pound cake. The fact that we are using recipes to make good food is irrelevant, what is more important is our understanding of why we do the things we do.
Mastering technique, means that you have made a commitment to work harder, turn up to class on time, respect the food you work with and ultimately grow beyond the scope of your limitations to bring joy to your customers.