Teaching Tip

Jul 2, 2022, 18:41

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

Wednesday, 02 September 2009 14:25
  • 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)

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

Wednesday, 02 September 2009 14:23
  • For the first day of class, we do a “culinary bingo.” We ask questions like “Whose family owns a restaurant?” along with other culinary questions. It ends up being a fun way for new students to find out more about each other. We also talk about chefs we admire along with chefs we do not like! (CS)
  • Getting Acquainted in Chef Class. On 3”x5” cards (or write questions on the board), have students pair up and interview each other and then introduce their partners to class. Collect the cards and use the following days in class for a Mystery Chef of the Day exercise. Read info on card (leave out name) and have class guess who the person is. Examples of questions: favorite food, favorite restaurant, if you could choose anyone to go out to dinner with, who would it be, something everyone should know about you, etc. (DMc)
  • When I taught middle school, I used to do the “me” report as an ice-breaker. Now that I teach foods, I do it with a slight variation: My favorite fast food; my favorite sit-down restaurant; my favorite Italian dish (cookie, bread, breakfast food, lunch, etc.) (HD)
  • In my Food & Beverage Management class, the students have a semester-long team project where they develop a restaurant concept. They develop and design the menu, select a location, identify their target market, design the layout, and establish a staffing plan. I give them some time each week to meet in their groups, and they also make time to meet outside of class. At the end of the semester, each group presents its concept to the rest of the class. The students really enjoy developing a restaurant and they spend a lot of time on their presentations in order to impress their colleagues in class. (JS)
  • The Hyatt Regency talks to our students regarding work ethic and attitude and how important it is in the foodservice industry from an employer’s standpoint. Chefs and employees from the property demo and talk about other foodservice-related positions. Students are more apt to listen and learn from people in the industry. Relating what we do in the class to real life situations is useful! (CZ)
  • An effective field trip for students in culinary is to a local farm for a tour and a talk with the farmer. It’s amazing how many students are unable to relate to where their food comes from. Seeing it firsthand allows them to understand the origins of what they work with. (JC)
  • During lab production, always have the student tell you his or her opinion/answer to the question he or she has asked you. For example: Is this done baking? Make the student learn to make a decision before you give the answer yourself. “What do you think?” (VO)
  • We have several farms in the area that do specific methods of farming. We take field trips to learn the beginning to the finish. This has been such an eye-opener since most of the kids have never seen/tasted such items, except out of a box/container/microwave tray! This is loads of fun and educational! (CR)

Houston, Texas (Part 2):

Wednesday, 02 September 2009 13:31
  • My students, traditionally, have had little exposure to the wide variety of foods and cooking ingredients available. Many eat “fast food” on a daily basis and few have experienced fine dining. I like to introduce fresh produce groups (fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices and salad greens) by presenting a wide variety of items and having a tasting party. Students are given a tasting chart to complete as I introduce each new produce item. They then write comments under columns for description (can illustrate and color), aroma, taste, how used. I try to select the more common herbs and spices—sage, oregano, basil, chives, bay leaves, cilantro, ginger, cloves, cinnamon sticks, etc. As students examine these and complete tasting chart, they make a herb collection to take home for their family to used in cooking. (KB)

Denver, Colorado (Part 2): 

Wednesday, 02 September 2009 10:33
  • Let the students plan blind taste tests. Any products they want (pizzas, cookies, etc). Compare by price, low fat versus regular, sugar free versus regular…whatever. This allows them to guess first what the customer will choose and why, and then go through the process and learn the true results. Let them run it any way they want. They learn a lot about appearance, brand power versus taste, etc. (JF)