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Craft Your Cooking Skills At a Culinary Institute

Nov 21, 2007
A dash of hard work and a pinch of talent are what make the perfect recipe for a successful culinary institute student. Individuals who go to a school to study culinary arts are looking for a career in a fast-paced environment. There are culinary arts schools all over the world that offer programs to prepare students for a profession that revolves around the kitchen. While studying the art of cooking, students will learn different techniques and skills that will be useful in their career. There are a variety of different programs available to students, as well as different specialties within culinary arts to choose from. Each specialty has unique techniques and skills necessary for the job.

In a typical restaurant kitchen there is an order of authority according to the specific type of chef and their specialty. The highest-ranking chef is an executive chef. This chef is responsible for planning and preparing the food that is to be served in the restaurant. A few of the job duties include devising a menu, ensuring the food quality is up to standard and deciding how much food is needed. In training to become an executive chef, students will learn about food preparation and managing a staff.

In addition, restaurants also have sous-chefs who are often times directly supervised by an executive chef. Sous-chefs assist executive chefs in many of the daily restaurant duties, such as planning the menu and requesting kitchen and food supplies. They are also responsible for teaching new techniques to the kitchen staff, as well as supervising other kitchen workers such as specialty chefs and cooks. While studying at a culinary institute, future sous-chefs learn different techniques for cooking, as well as teaching skills.

There are also specialty chefs that work in a kitchen. These chefs can specialize in anything from appetizers and pastries to poultry and fish. These chefs prepare complete meals, as well as decorative food trays, and they also prepare the food for presentation to customers by providing garnishes. Specialty chefs also help to supervise cooks and other kitchen staff. While studying at a culinary arts school, specialty chefs learn about all different aspects of cooking and often times decide their specific specialty while in school.

Lastly, there are also cooks who are part of the professional kitchen staff. Typically cooks do the grunt-work in regards to the cooking in a kitchen. They prepare and cook complete meals and supervise others who are on staff and help in the kitchen. Often times, executive chefs and sous-chefs will begin their career as a cook. It is one of the first stepping-stones to a successful career once a student graduates from a culinary institute.

While students are preparing for the real world and aspiring to become professional chefs, they will learn about all different aspects of cooking. First, students will learn the proper technique to cooking certain foods. They will also learn what ingredients compliment one another. One part of cooking that is often times overlooked but a very important part of the cooking process is food safety. Students will learn how to prepare food safely, as well as the proper cooking temperatures for different types of foods. Another important aspect to cooking is the nutritional benefits and health aspect of recipes and various foods. Students need to know what is in the food they are preparing and how it can affect people with certain health risks.

As a student at a culinary institute, individuals will learn all about these important aspects of cooking, as well as fine tune the cooking skills they already possess.
About the Author
Andy West is a freelance writer for The Culinary Institute of Virginia College. Culinard offers two outstanding culinary programs. For more information on one of the most prestigious culinary institutes in the U.S., please visit http://www.culinard.com .
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