The Professional Chef’s Program – Class Descriptions
Laboratory Class Descriptions
Lab classes meet twice a week. Each class is approximately 8 hours.
The first half of the program encompasses Food Basics and Baking in which the rudiments of classical training are taught. Students begin by learning to identify and properly use equipment including their chef knives and implements. Then through a carefully designed progression of classes, students gain the practical and theoretical knowledge that readies them for the second half of the program: an in-depth study of classical French cuisine, and the authentic regional cuisine of Italy and France. American regional cooking and Asian cuisine culminate in an expression of today’s Fusion cooking, and all together provide the stepping stones to a wide variety of jobs in the foodservice sector.
In this series of classes, the foundations of baking are taught through an intensive study of the theory and principles of preparing dough, pastry cream, custards, sauces, meringues, cakes, tortes, phyllo, strudel, chocolate, and buttercreams. Emphasis is placed on the most modern methods of preparation, understanding the chemical functions of ingredients, perfecting specific and unique techniques, as well as decoration and presentation.
Through a series of carefully crafted classes, students thoroughly examine the fundamentals and theory of cooking with eggs, stocks, sauces, vegetables, meats, fish, shellfish, and pasta. Students learn both simple and sophisticated techniques, critical evaluation of each stage of preparation, temperature-sensitive steps, chemical properties of ingredients, theory, methods and other practical information. Complete meals drawn from a variety of international recipes are prepared, presented, consumed and evaluated.
Provincial French Cuisine
Through an intensive study of the political and geographical influences of each of the French provinces, students gain an appreciation for the culinary distinctions among provinces. Classes are devoted to preparing authentic regional meals using regional ingredients and products. Regional wines and cheeses are studied.
Regional Italian Cuisine
The cultural and culinary history of the individual countries is presented in lecture. Each class is an intensive study of the ingredients, foods and their preparation, and well-known products associated with the culinary traditions, wines and specialties of each province or region.
Intensive French Cuisine
Encompassing Classical, Haute cuisine, and Garde Manger, this comprehensive course offers application, practice and refinement of basic French techniques in classical French dishes. Students trace the history of the food movement in France and learn the contributions of the great Master chefs. The cold buffet table becomes an imaginative work of art. All aspects of hors d'oeuvres, canapés, patés, terrines, galantines, charcuterie, chaud-froid, aspic, mousses and vegetable garnishes are taught. Tasteful and creative decoration in display work is emphasized.
Much maligned and misrepresented by the American press, the Nouvelle Cuisine movement of the late '60's and '70's has strongly influenced the direction food has taken through the '80's and '90's. This course traces the movement through its rediscovery and refining of classical French cuisine eliminating elaborate and laborious techniques and emphasizing new ways of preparing and presenting foods. Reduction sauces, "architectural" presentations, emphasis of fresh ingredients, and overall simplification are the focus of this curriculum.
Designed to familiarize the student with basic Asian ingredients and culinary techniques, this course focuses on the cuisine of China, Japan, India, Vietnam and Thailand. Students also explore a new blend of culinary styles known as East meets West or Pacific Rim Cooking.
Fusion cuisine focuses on the combination of ingredients and techniques from diverse cultures (often Asian) to create an end result which challenges the artistic, innovative and creative spirit of the chef and diner.
Regional American products and the trends of the '80's and '90's are the focus of these classes. Little-known regional specialties are explored, as are new combinations employing classical techniques, which are the basis of contemporary restaurant menus.
Evening seminars are held once a week for approximately 3 hours.
The subject matter for evening seminars encompasses a wide variety of industry-related topics.
A critical component of the curriculum, this course emphasizes the proper handling, care and use of professional chef knives. Students are instructed in the proper methods of slicing, chopping, dicing and mincing. Garnishes such as tomato rosettes and radish flowers are also taught.
Using the food safety standards established by the Educational Foundation of the National Restaurant Association, students learn the principles of food safety and the methods used to establish a total food safety program within a foodservice operation. Particular attention is paid to understanding the HACCP food safety management program. Students passing the certification exam, administered at the end of the course, are presented with an Applied Foodservice Sanitation Certificate, recognized throughout the U.S.
Traditional culinary occupations, career progression, and management skills are discussed. Students also study purchasing, cost control, projections, menu planning, recipe development and general skills relating to stress, time, and personnel management. Legal aspects of opening a business are addressed by guest lecturers (lawyers) and include such issues as incorporating, partnership, trademarks, and registering the business name. The development of a business pro forma is a requirement.
Introduction to Wine
An oenologist introduces students to the intriguing world of wines. Course includes a history of viniculture, a discussion of government regulations, and an explanation of wine jargon, labels and bottle types. Each class includes a wine tasting that allows students to compare and contrast the wines of Europe, the United States, and other countries
Nutrition for the Foodservice Professional
This course provides students with an overview of food and nutrition science and its role in the foodservice industry today. Students learn current dietary guidelines, menu planning, recipe development and food preparation techniques.