Fifty Minute Classroom

Apr 28, 2017, 22:39

50-Minute Classroom: Reading and Writing Recipes

weinerChef Weiner offers a solid primer to print out and provide to students, ensuring they’ll understand a recipe fully and be on the look-out for pitfalls before they begin to gather their mise en place.

By Adam Weiner, CFSE

Last month I stressed the importance of not limiting your students to simply learning how to follow recipes or how to cook by technique only. Students need to learn both skill sets. As I mentioned last month, it is important to follow recipes in a commercial kitchen to ensure that no matter when a customer orders something, it will always taste the same, be the same size, and the food costs for each plate will be the same.

The following is what students need to learn about reading and writing recipes. Feel free to copy it and give it to your students. However, you might want to remove the “Note for Instructors” below if you want to use that little trick on your students.

50-Minute Classroom: Do You Teach Recipes or Technique?

weinerChef Weiner argues there’s only one right answer.

By Adam Weiner, CFSE

Paper or plastic? Shaken or stirred? Regular or decaf? Red or white? Recipes or technique? These are some of the great questions that plague culinary instructors on a daily basis. To start the New Year, I am going to open the debate (please post a comment on this website so we can really get the debate going) on whether we should focus our students on learning how to follow recipes or how to use their technical skills to create or duplicate dishes.

Recipes or technique is a question that drives culinary instructors crazy. When I focus on teaching recipes, a number of my friends (many of whom volunteer to teach the class and others who hire my students) tell me that I am doing a disservice, because when they go out into the real world there won’t be recipes. These chefs contend that when the students go out into restaurants they will be shown a dish once and then be expected to duplicate it.

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.