Fifty Minute Classroom

Jun 14, 2021, 21:34
50-Minute Classroom: Teaching Nutrition, Part 1 of 2

50-Minute Classroom: Teaching Nutrition, Part 1 of 2

Sunday, 04 March 2012 11:45

March is National Nutrition Month. And as the general rules of nutrition keep changing, students are mentally tuning out. Here, Chef Weiner explains how to emphasize the first four of 10 unchanging basic facts.

By Adam Weiner, CFSE

Culinary teachers at all levels tend to be uncomfortable teaching nutrition because:

  • we are expected to be experts in the field, but have spent very little time being trained about nutrition,
  • when we started cooking, “healthy food” was basically food that people wouldn’t want to cook or eat, our students have heard so much about nutrition and obesity they mentally turn off when we start talking about “healthy,” and
  • most importantly, THE RULES KEEP CHANGING. Just when I figured out how to use a “pyramid” they switched me to a “plate.”

50-Minute Classroom: Chocolate Dipping

Tuesday, 31 January 2012 09:14

fifty_feb12Not only will your students enjoy this assignment, but this will probably be one of the few times in your class that they can create unique dishes.

By Adam Weiner, CFSE

In honor of February, why not have a 50-minute class on chocolate dipping? Before you read further, here is a disclaimer: I am neither a chocolatier nor a pastry chef. If you are either, please stop reading. For the rest of us mere mortals, let me show a quick, easy and fun way to teach some basic chocolate-dipping skills:

1. Preparation: Mise en place is critical here. Like cooking, chocolate work requires that everything be ready to go before you start. Remind students that mise en place applies to equipment as well as ingredients. (My students somehow always seem to forget this.)

50-Minute Classroom: Sauté

Wednesday, 04 January 2012 10:41

weinerYour students will want to reach for the tongs, spatula or spoon. Don’t let them. These six steps in class will effectively remove students’ fear—and enhance their thrill—of sautéing.

By Adam Weiner, CFSE

For the last several articles I have addressed teaching business skills of our industry and teaching techniques. Now it is time to return to the teaching of specific cooking subjects. A cooking technique that both thrills and terrifies students is sautéing. To alleviate the fear, minimize the mess and cut back on food costs try the following six steps:

1. Teach What Is Sautéing. Sautéing basically means “to jump” in French. Tell your students that the different ingredients are cut into uniform size, and are added to the pan in the order of what takes the longest to cook going in first. The food is jumped, not stirred. In other words, the cook keeps flipping the food over in the pan so all sides of the food cook uniformly. Usually sautéing is done with a small amount of fat (generally oil or butter) in the pan.

50-Minute Classroom: Teaching Food Costs

Wednesday, 30 November 2011 19:00

weinerContrary to what students might think, life is not like “Hell’s Kitchen,” where food can be discarded with abandon. Here are eight easy and effective ways to teach basic food-cost principles that will serve your students well.

By Adam Weiner, CFSE

I believe that for our students to climb the kitchen ladder of success, it is important to teach them not only also how to cook well, but how to think like a chef. One thing that has always been at the forefront of chefs’ minds throughout the centuries is food costs. In today’s world, food costs, more than ever, can make or break a commercial establishment. (Even if you are only teaching a class to teach people how to cook at home, food costs are still critically important, since food is a very large part of a household budget.)

50-Minute Classroom: Foodservice Economics

Monday, 31 October 2011 20:00

weinerYour students will groan with shock and surprise to learn that for every $100 in sales a foodservice operation earns only $4 to $7. But your job is to show them the real world they’re training to excel in.

By Adam Weiner, CFSE

At the June 2011 CAFÉ Leadership Conference roundtable discussion on the 50-minute classroom, one of the concerns raised was that students have no idea of foodservice economics. They have grown up watching “Iron Chef” and “Master Chef,” where expensive ingredients like truffles and caviar are tossed around like water. They have watched “Hell’s Kitchen,” where allegedly experienced chefs mishandle and mis-cook scallops, lobster and lamb, yet still remain eligible for the grand prize of running a restaurant.

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