Teaching Tips

Jan 19, 2021, 16:29

“The Art of Presentation” Workshop, L’Academie de Cuisine, Gaithersburg (Part 2):

02 September 2009
  • One way to show how important following directions and a goal of mise en place is: I would give a basic biscuit recipe to two students per group and let them go to work. (This would be before we had really worked in the kitchen.) After the biscuits are all finished, I would have them pick the best one for display. Put them all in a line in front of class. Discuss the weight and texture and color of each biscuit. I would begin by saying, “We did all have the same recipe.” To complete the lesson, we would discuss how important proper procedures are when cooking to get all results the same. (LF)
  • As a way to solidify the geographical/cultural/historical information in international cuisine, each student in the class chooses a region or country that we are covering and writes a paper and gives a presentation (including visuals and a food product) at the end of the semester. This serves as a way to make each student well-versed in one cuisine, and presenting to classmates is a great way to review this information on each country/region before the final exam without requiring the students (or the instructor) to go through it all in lecture format. (JD)
  • Guest speaker: General Mills’ corporate chef, Ted Osario, came to demo for several of my classes. He discussed pre-made versus scratch baking—benefits, cost, etc. General Mills will host groups of students at its corporate headquarters and let them spend the day with research and development chefs. (PS)
  • Recipe/formula inaccuracies: To promote higher-level thinking skills such as analysis, give students five recipes/formulas that you have intentionally altered with inaccuracies. For example, include in your recipe/formula errors such as 1 lb. baking powder (should be 1 oz), preheat oven to 550 degrees (should be 350 degrees) and 2 c. chocolate milk (should be buttermilk). Have the students circle the errors based on their experience in the kitchen. (MM)
  • First day of class: have various individuals from various industries come in and explain to the students what they do. They explain that it is more than just cooking to the industry. This has been great introducing ProStart to the new students. Also, a good way to motivate slower students: Give them more responsibility in the kitchen. Let them be in charge of the kitchen for a day. Most of my students (90%) from low-economic, high-risk groups just need more one-on-one attention. (DMc)
  • First-day idea: Hand out bag of M&Ms and tell students to take as much as they want. Everyone will have to take at least one. (But don’t tell them that.) Once they have their M&Ms tell them to count them. Then tell the students that however many they have is the amount they will need to tell something about themselves. For example: If a student took three M&Ms, then he or she will need to reveal three things. (PY)
  • We established art terminology to describe and teach plate and buffet presentation. Focus and flow, balance, harmony, etc. (DL)
  • One teaching tip that I find that excited and motivated students at all levels is as follows: I have students choose a recipe form Godiva.com and make a dessert special of the day. I post the name of the student and his/her name on the special’s board located in the dining room for the customers to see (ex: Nick’s chocolate mousse). I find that the students take more pride in what they make, and are excited to see their names on the board. I also find that the other students try to sell the special and the customers seem to order more desserts this way, mainly because they know the students and want to taste their special creations. (JL)

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