From opening and staring into a hot oven until the inside temperature plummets to reasons not to overcrowd a frying pan, Chef Weiner discusses how to successfully teach some hard-to-learn rules in the culinary classroom. For one common practice among students, however, he still seeks a solution.
By Adam Weiner, CFSE
In June I had the privilege of attending CAFÉ’s Leadership Conference in Miami. There are two reasons I love the conference: 1) the seminars and 2) the out-of-seminar discussions.
Let me share with you one of the out-of-seminar discussions that a group of us had at the breakfast table. The topic is particularly appropriate since many of you will be reading this at the start of your school year. What Is the Hardest Thing to Teach New Culinary Students? Here is our top 10 list:
This is really two categories. Tasting as you cook, which is somewhat easy to drill into new students’ cooking routines. The other is far more difficult: getting people to taste the foods in the first place. I have many students who think I am trying to kill them by giving them a piece of beef that is cooked less than well done. Don’t even ask what they say about ceviche! I have had a little success with tough love: “This is what we are serving. If you don’t want to eat it, that’s fine.” However, if you do this better, guard your pantry and walk-in because they will try to make their own food, thinking you won’t notice.