Fifty Minute Classroom

Mar 25, 2017, 18:34

Teaching Presentation in 50 Minutes

One thing that separates professional cooks from their moms is how they present food. Here are five things students should remember when plating

By Adam Weiner, JobTrain and the Sequoia Adult School

Students new to cooking go through three stages of trauma. First, they worry about making enough food; second, they agonize on how the food tastes; and finally, they stress about how the food looks. Much of the presentation pain comes from most of the new generation of cooks experiencing “presentation” as bags of fast food in a car seat and “plating” by ordering at the mall’s food court.

I have found the best way to minimize the pain of the third stage is to tell students not to prepare anything until they have in their minds (or better yet, a drawing on paper) how the final plate will look.

Students think this is strange. They feel that if they start cooking, the plating and presentation will fall into place. I explain that if I asked them to build a car, they wouldn’t just pick up some screws, tires, sheet metal and glass and start hammering. They would first have a picture of the finished car. To build a car or a plate of food takes a picture and a plan.

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