Fifty Minute Classroom

Mar 25, 2017, 18:35

50-Minute Classroom: 12 Things for Students to Know

weinerA must list that students should review frequently so they might keep their jobs in commercial kitchens.

By Adam Weiner, CFSE

Happy holidays!

Those of you who read this column on a regular basis know that I preach the need to teach your students more than how to cook. Unless you teach a pure home-economics class, your ultimate goal is to have your students get jobs in the culinary field. If you don’t teach them how to work in a commercial kitchen, you are dooming them to failure.

So, in honor of the 12 Days of Christmas, and December being the 12th month, I will recap the 12 things that your students must know to be able to keep their jobs in a commercial kitchen. Feel free to print them out and give them to your students. Tell your students to look at them frequently when they start working.

50-Minute Classroom: Making Sure Everyone Shares in the Work, Making Sure Everyone Gets the Glory

weinerEasy, free and completely impartial, an assignment board guarantees that everyone shares equally in the assignments over a few days. Say these educators, the system is beautiful in its simplicity.

By Windi Hughes and Chef Adam Weiner

One of the toughest set of problems facing all levels of culinary instructors is how to make sure that no one in a group takes over, no one is always stuck doing the dishes, and no one just sits back and watches everyone do the work. One of the toughest things for a high-school teacher to explain to parents is why their daughter or son comes home every day and says that they did nothing in cooking class.

An easy, free and completely impartial way to handle these problems is to set up an assignment board, which guarantees that everyone shares equally in the assignments over a few days.

50-Minute Classroom: Capitalize on Boards, Commissions and Associations

weinerMyriad resources for training DVDs, posters, booklets and even free guest lecturers are there for the taking.

By Adam Weiner, CFSE

“Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is knowing to keep it out of a fruit salad.”

Texted to me by my daughter at college on October 25, 2011.

It’s been a year since my daughter texted me that quote, and it still amazes me how often the difference between knowledge and wisdom hits me between the eyes. One recent example was at CAFÉ’s Leadership Conference this past June in San Antonio, while I was leading a roundtable discussion on the 50-Minute Classroom. One member of the group posed the question of what outside resources were available (for free) that she could use in her classroom. Two members of our group were representatives of the Idaho Potato Commission. They said that they would be happy to provide her with booklets, charts, displays for her classroom all about potatoes, and would even arrange a guest speaker.

50-Minute Classroom: Salt

weinerWhen are all salts created equal, and when do they have distinct culinary uses? Here’s a primer on teaching the qualities and characteristics of the world’s most common seasoning.

By Adam Weiner, CFSE

I was recently asked to give a presentation at the San Francisco Exploratorium (a hands-on science museum) about salt. During three hours, I had more than 400 people stop at my display and taste salt, discuss different types of salt and question the difference between cooking with salt and finishing food with salt.

The next day, I was reading the March 2012 National Culinary Review, and on page nine it listed 12 food trends for 2012. Number 10 was: “Salt: premium finishing varieties and artisanal presentation.” Something was telling me to write about teaching SALT. 

50 Minute Classroom: Teaching Your Students How to Find a Job, Part II

fifty_july12Here are the remaining five of 10 critical things you must teach your students if you want them to earn meaningful jobs, plus some sound advice on how to interact with potential employers.

By Adam Weiner, CFSE

Last issue I explained that it is critical to not only teach your students technical skills, but also the soft skills needed to get a job, keep a job and prosper in life. I suggested that you spend the summer revising and updating your curriculum to add job-searching skills. I published the first five things to teach, and now here are the remaining five: