Fifty Minute Classroom

Sep 24, 2020, 5:24

50-Minute Classroom: Working in Teams Needs to Be Taught

Wednesday, 04 September 2013 19:05

Students in teams don’t necessarily have to like each other, says Chef Weiner. They won’t have the luxury of choosing their teammates in the real world, after all. But they do have to learn to work together to execute a successful meal. Here are proven tips to teach them how.

By Adam Weiner, CFSE

At the recent CAFÉ Leadership Conference in Miami I had the privilege of attending a seminar by Paul Sorgule of Harvest America Ventures. Paul said something that was a proverbial slap in the face for me. He stated that all culinary instructors teach with teams, but we don’t really understand how teams work, nor do we specifically teach our students how to work in teams.

One of the key items he covered is that there are four phases in each team project:




Mature Closeness

The first thing people do when assigned to a team is to test out the other team members and themselves in the team. How much do the other team members know? How much can I assert myself in the team? Will I be able to ride on other people’s coattails?

50-Minute Classroom: The 10 Hardest Things to Teach Young Culinary Students

Tuesday, 30 July 2013 23:03

From opening and staring into a hot oven until the inside temperature plummets to reasons not to overcrowd a frying pan, Chef Weiner discusses how to successfully teach some hard-to-learn rules in the culinary classroom. For one common practice among students, however, he still seeks a solution.

By Adam Weiner, CFSE

In June I had the privilege of attending CAFÉ’s Leadership Conference in Miami. There are two reasons I love the conference: 1) the seminars and 2) the out-of-seminar discussions.

Let me share with you one of the out-of-seminar discussions that a group of us had at the breakfast table. The topic is particularly appropriate since many of you will be reading this at the start of your school year. What Is the Hardest Thing to Teach New Culinary Students? Here is our top 10 list:

1. Tasting
This is really two categories. Tasting as you cook, which is somewhat easy to drill into new students’ cooking routines. The other is far more difficult: getting people to taste the foods in the first place. I have many students who think I am trying to kill them by giving them a piece of beef that is cooked less than well done. Don’t even ask what they say about ceviche! I have had a little success with tough love: “This is what we are serving. If you don’t want to eat it, that’s fine.” However, if you do this better, guard your pantry and walk-in because they will try to make their own food, thinking you won’t notice.

50-Minute Classroom: As Teachers, Always “on,” All the Time

Saturday, 01 June 2013 16:29

Says Chef Weiner, it’s time to assess ourselves as role models to our students, who witness more than we realize. And a tragedy hits home that we must work to positively influence those in our charge while we have the opportunity.

By Adam Weiner, CFSE

From January through April I addressed how to teach your students recipe skills and basic cooking skills. In May I took a break and wrote about the importance of teaching real networking. In that article, I stated that I would pick up with cooking techniques this month.

Please forgive me, but I changed my mind. I decided that with the end of the school year for most of you it is timely to consider our position as role models.

It is important that we, as teachers, take a look at ourselves and realize our impact upon students—sometimes beyond anything that we imagine. Further, we have skills and talents observed by our students without our realizing it. In May 2012, “The Gold Medal Classroom” published my article on assessment. So, now at the end of the year, it is time to do an assessment of ourselves as role models.

50-Minute Classroom: Teaching the Value of “Real” Networking

Tuesday, 30 April 2013 07:00

Says Chef Weiner, who will speak to this topic at the CAFÉ Leadership Conference in Miami in June, there are many benefits of person-to-person interaction that can’t be replicated by social networking.

By Adam Weiner, CFSE

Editor’s Note: CAFÉ asked Chef Weiner to present a seminar at the June 2013 Leadership Conference in Miami next month. His topic: “WHAT GOOD IS SITTING ALONE IN YOUR ROOM: TEACHING YOUR STUDENTS THE WHY AND HOW OF REAL NETWORKING.” For May’s GMC he decided to write a brief summary of some of the points of his presentation. If you haven’t yet enrolled for the conference, visit to register.           

So far this year, my focus has been on teaching various cooking techniques. Let’s take a break for a month and talk about one of today’s hottest buzzwords: networking. Don’t worry, this isn’t another article about social networking. This is a brief introduction on how to educate and influence the Facebook and Twitter generation on why and how to perform the dance of real networking.

50-Minute Classroom: Teaching Grilling

Friday, 05 April 2013 21:55

Generally speaking, a perfectly grilled item should have a nice brown coating on the outside and be moist and juicy inside. Here’s how to successfully teach the technique of grilling within a shorter class period.

By Adam Weiner, CFSE

January’s 50-Minute Classroom was about whether it was more important to teach recipes or techniques. I concluded that both were important. February was teaching how to read and write a recipe.

Now it is time to continue the discussion on how to teach different techniques. I’ve already addressed how to teach your students braising(September 2010), baking (July 2011) sautéing(January 2012) and steaming (March 2013).This month: grilling.

1. Teach Your Students the Difference Between Barbecuing, Smoking and Grilling: