Guest Speakers

Mar 25, 2017, 18:42

Guest Speaker: The Hypocrisy of Teaching Knife Skills

Naturally, educators must stress to their students the critical importance of proper knife skills. But, says this chef-consultant, the reality in the workplace doesn’t always match what we teach. (Don’t miss the YouTube video link.)

By John Reed, CEC, CCA

After addressing a group of culinary students at an ACF state competition, I sat back and thought about my words and the content.

In the skills portion of the competition, one of the four disciplines is “Knife Skills.” It requires a competitor chosen randomly from each team to perform this culinary skill. The competitors must dice an onion, cut julienne and chop some tomatoes, among other things. As judges, we critique the competitors on the accuracy of the cuts and compare them to a known standard.

One of the standards is a molded plastic form with the exact dimensions of the named cuts that are mounted to a board. I describe it as the original “3D APP.” You can look something up and then stick it back in your pocket. If you have ever been to culinary school or attended these competitions, you may have seen this guide or are at least familiar with the names of knife cuts that are common in a professional kitchen. In some cases, students spend hours fine-tuning their skills, such as lining up their little sticks of carrots in a row like little Napoleonic soldiers. A sight to see!

Guest Speaker: CAFÉ Wants Your Best Practices in Sustainability Teaching!

The deadline to submit your entry in the 7th-annual CAFÉ/Kendall College Green Award program is April 1.

By Christopher Koetke, CEC, CCE, HAAC

The Kendall College School of Culinary Arts and the Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education (CAFÉ) are accepting applications for the 2015 CAFÉ/Kendall College Green Award.

Sustainability, once dubbed the “wave of the future” for the foodservice industry, is the reality today.

The CAFÉ/Kendall College Green Award, which since its inception has been sponsored by Kendall College, is the first national award to recognize high-school and professional culinary-arts and baking/pastry programs for their commitment to practicing ecological sustainability on campus and/or integrating innovative teaching of sustainability in the curriculum.

Kendall has dedicated itself to sustainability in its classrooms and operations since 2005, and even more gratifying than the value we’ve reaped on our own campus has been the privilege of sharing our knowledge with other educators and learning from them. That is the impetus behind the CAFÉ/Kendall College Green Award.

Guest Speaker: Tech Is the Trend of the Year—and Next Year, Too

Of all the trends reporters and firms who generate copy near the end of each year, Baum+Whiteman is oft overlooked. Yet where U.S. F&B trends are concerned, arguably the company’s principals have their collective thumb on the proper pulse of the nation most firmly. So when they say tech is king in 2015, you can take that to the bank.

Courtesy of Baum+Whiteman

Forget cronuts and Negronis. Forget quinoa and kale. Short of putting food into our mouths, technology is upending the way dining out works. Electronic wizardry once hummed quietly in the background ... but now we’re immersed in “front-facing technology” or “guest-facing technology”: all sorts of devices and programs that interface directly with the consumer. More restaurant companies experiment with tablets ... letting guests order food and drink from their tables; play games while they’re waiting; then pay with smartphones ... meeting a waiter when an order is delivered, or when it’s time for a refill from the bar, or for upselling desserts. Tables turn faster by eliminating downtime during which little happens and customers start fidgeting.

Guest Speaker: On Sale Now! Apple Baking Advice

A primer on baking with apples, from someone who should know (or at least knows whom to ask).

By Wendy Brannen

I know that Bed, Bath & Beyond is a great resource for purchasing household goods—and for 20% off, at that, with those ubiquitous coupons—but until recently I didn’t realize the big-box retailer has an excellent blog.

Above & Beyond” blipped on my radar when a fun and friendly freelancer called to ask me about baking with apples for a consumer blog story. That’s also when I realized, “You know, I work for the U.S. Apple Association. I really should know more about baking with apples!” Thus, I tried to go “above and beyond” to find out a little more from a handful of subject-matter experts.

Jane Bonacci is a dear friend and food blogger from San Francisco who has a tsunami-sized love of food—and creating good food recipes. I love her advice for a simple-but-saucy baked apple. (No crisps or crumbles needed here, folks!) Says Jane, If you want to make baked apples, leave them whole, peel them about halfway down from the top, leaving the bottom half with peel on for structure. Remove the core and fill the hole with hard sauce—Oh, my!”

Guest Speaker: Pastry Dreams

Armed with a degree in business, Katie Veile decided not to let her student loans stand in the way of pursuing her lifelong passion at The French Pastry School.  

For the Love of Chocolate Foundation provides scholarships for qualified students in the specialized training of the pastry arts in the full-time programs taught by The French Pastry School of Kennedy-King College at City Colleges of Chicago.

The goal of the scholarships is to encourage and assist aspiring students, career changers and culinary-career professionals to advance their knowledge of the pastry arts. The program is specifically geared toward individuals who are in need of financial assistance. The French Pastry School’s full-time programs not only train students in the art of pastry, but also educate them about the pastry profession.

The school was founded by Chefs Jacquy Pfeiffer and Sébastien Canonne, MOF, in 1995 as a resource for intensive pastry education. Today it is often referred to as the premier pastry school in the world. The French Pastry School offers certificates in Professional Baking and Pastry Arts (24 weeks), Professional Cake Decorating and Baking (16 weeks) and Artisanal Bread Baking (eight weeks).