Archive for December, 2010

Vet Tech Students–Barking Up the Right Tree!

Monday, December 27th, 2010

In today’s economy, young people are challenged more than ever when it comes to choosing a potential career. If they are fortunate enough to still be able to afford college, many have given up the dream of doing something they love and are moving into fields that seem more financially secure. For animal lovers, the news is good for more than one reason. TS-78035083

First of all, many technical high schools are now offering vet tech programs that will prepare students to pursue a college education in veterinary science or go directly into the workplace as a vet tech. Students actually participate in the hands-on care of the animals while attending high school. They learn proper skills for services such as grooming, treating health issues, and general daily care. Upon completing a thorough and effective training program, students are allowed the option of taking a test to receive their certification. Those who pass meet qualifications for several starting positions in veterinary hospitals. Being able to come out of high school with marketable job skills gives these students a great advantage. For those wishing to pursue the career at a college level, they have the benefit of previous hands-on training and experience that many new students will not have. They also have a means for earning money while they work towards a degree, not to mention getting a “foot in the door” for future positions as they become more qualified.

Another great benefit of this program is the affordability. It is basically offered for free to public high school students, while a similar college level program offering the same certification costs much more. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the future of veterinary science is bright when it comes to job prospects too. Positions for veterinary technicians are expected to increase by more than 36% between 2008 and 2018 with average earnings for the position starting around $29,000. As more and more people become pet owners, the need for the services offered at veterinary hospitals increases, meaning business remains steady even during times of economic downturn.

Perhaps the most exciting part of this program comes from listening to the stories the students share regarding their love for the animals, the training they receive, and the passion they feel for the program. Many believe they may have never chosen this field as a career had the vet tech program not have been offered in their high school. They are grateful for both the experience and the education they can now turn into income. For more information, be sure to contact your local technical high school and inquire regarding the veterinary technician program.

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The US Army Takes Sixth Place at Culinary World Cup

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

At the 2010 Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg, the United States Army Culinary Arts Team (USACAT) shone, taking first place in the cold foods competition, third place in the hot foods contest, and placing sixth in the competition overall among military groups. This prestigious contest, which is held every four years in Luxembourg, features the best chefs on the planet and allows them to compete against others at their level. The military chefs in this year’s competition competed for these culinary honors against seven other countries’ military chefs. The World Association of Chefs Society presided over the results and awards. The army’s gold-winning cold food entry consisted of seven meals comprised of three courses that are meant to be served cold.

The army’s culinary team has been training for years to get a chance to compete in this contest. The spokesperson and manager of the team, Chief Warrant Officer Russell Campbell, indicated the pride that the team members felt in representing the United States Army in the competition, which was especially sweet given their gold-medal victory. One of the chefs on the team, Army Master Sgt. Mark Morgan, was able to compete as part of the American Culinary Federation’s national team. Master Sgt. Morgan is a pastry chef whose skills aided the team in winning the cold food contest and placing third in the hot food contest.

The training grounds for the members of the USACAT are found in Fort Lee, Virginia, at the Quartermaster Center and School. The criteria by which the members of the USACAT qualified to compete in the competition were strict, as each member had to battle other competitors in order to win a place on the team. They also had to participate in other World Cup global culinary competitions.

The success of the USACAT at the 2010 Culinary World Cup highlights just how successful one can be with a specialization in the culinary arts and with an education at a top culinary school. Knowledge of the culinary arts allows individuals to be creative and innovative with their cooking techniques, and to invent dishes that are not only pleasing to the palate but to the eye as well. The skills granted to culinary students will allow them to reach the top of the culinary world and might just have them entering and winning famous competitions like the Culinary World Cup, which will further cement their prestige and reputation. The USACAT and their success should be an inspiration to aspiring culinary students everywhere.

Is Google becoming a monopoly?

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Is Google a Monopoly?

Research by Scores.org

Recent stories of Google in the News in relation to the Monopoly discussion:

There is a lot going on in the news about Google and it’s possible anti-competitive actions. The latest information and debate has surrounded around the launch of a bigger focus on Google Places. The new launch brings up a debate about whether or not Google is starting to promote their internal sites and content above the other sites providing the same information in their organic index. Some companies are certainly asking the question more frequently, “Is Google becoming a monopoly?”

The Wallstreet Journal recently published an article on this issue titled, “Rivals Say Google Plays Favorites.” In this article Amir Efrati interviews the chief executive officer of CityGrid Media, a unit of IAC/InteracticeCorp, Yelp CEO and TripAdivsor LLC Chief Executive Stephen Kaufer. In the interviews Jay Herratti of CityGrid Media says, “There is no denying that today Google is competing [with many websites] for the same Web traffic and the same advertising dollars.” Companies run by CityGrid Media are CitySearch, UrbanSpoon.com and InsiderPages.com.

Another quick interview with the Yelp CEO gave the blunt statement that Google “is trying to leverage its distribution power.” In comparing traffic from past analytic data the Trip Advisor Chief Executive said that traffic was down 10% this year when adjusted for seasonality. Mr. Kaufer said, “Google does seem to be chasing us and I don’t like it one bit.” Negotiations have been going on for months with Trip Advisor to help them come up with a better long term relationship in the travel discount business which is mainly fed by Google’s search engine.

Google’s statement on the whole issue was pretty direct. The sum of the issued statement was that Google is made for the users and not for websites. “We built Google for users, not websites, and our goal is to give users answers,” a Google spokeswoman said in a statement. “Sometimes the most useful answer isn’t ’10 blue links,’ but a map for an address query, or a series of images for a query like ‘pictures of Egyptian pyramids.’ We often provide these results in the form of ‘quick answers’ at the top of the page, because our users want a quick answer.”

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The Famous Chef’s You Like to Learn From and Where They Started…

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

The most popular celebrity chefs have become household names and have transformed the way the world views cooking. Many people are curious as to how these chefs got their start. Did these celebrities study at a top culinary school or learn through an apprenticeship? This article will discuss how the top 5 celebrity chefs including Rachel Ray, Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver, Bobby Flay,and Emeril Lagasse got their start in their cooking career.

1. Rachel Ray

Rachel Ray has never attended a culinary school. However, Ray did grow up in a family that owned multiple restaurants. She eventually went on to work in several food related jobs. Ray got the ideas for 30 minute meals from a buyer at a gourmet market in Albany.

Rachel Ray wanted to appeal to and help people who were reluctant to cook and lacked the time for detailed drawn out recipes. Ray’s 30 minute simple meals and vibrant personality were so popular she became a celebrity chef. Ray is criticized by chefs who have formal training for her use of canned and boxed ingredients. However, her friendly, outgoing personality and simple meals continue to be highly sought after and viewers flock to her popular television shows.

2. Gordon Ramsey

At age 19, Ramsey began to focus on culinary school. Ramsey studied Hotel Management specializing in catering at North Oxfordshire Technical College. His first job at Wroxton House included chef duties and charge of a 60 seat dining room. He went on to work in various restaurants and eventually worked under two chefs who owned Michelin starred restaurants where Ramsey found his inspiration. Ramsey is best known for his television programs based on competitive cooking such as Master Chef, Hell’s Kitchen, and Kitchen Nightmares. Ramsey also owns and operates many Michelin starred restaurants.

3. Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver grew up helping his parents by prepping and assisting with cooking meals at their local pub. After considering several top culinary schools, Oliver finally chose Westminister Kingsway College for his formal studies. Oliver apprenticed at both Neal Street Restaurant and the River Cafe in London. Oliver was spotted by a television producer at the River Cafe and began his career as a celebrity chef. Jamie Oliver is best known for the television shows: Naked Chef and Jamie’s Kitchen. Oliver’s specialty is organic, natural, and healthy cuisine.

4. Bobby Flay

After considering several top culinary schools, Bobby Flay enrolled in the French Culinary Institute. Flay worked at a variety of restaurants early on. Then Flay met a restaurant owner who helped him create a unique style and enhanced Flay’s knowledge of Cajun food and spices. Bobby Flay is now the executive chef and owner of 10 restaurants. In addition, Flay has hosted seven food network television programs.

5. Emeril Lagasse

Emeril Lagasse went to culinary school at Johnson and Wales University. Lagasse worked at restaurants in Boston, Philadelphia, and New York before moving south and discovering a love of New Orleans cuisine. Lagasse has won over 37 awards for his 9 restaurants. He has also starred in over 1,550 episodes of Emeril Live and The Essence of Emeril.

In conclusion, with the exception of Rachel Ray, every celebrity chef listed above has attended various top culinary schools. Culinary schools offer practical and useful preparation and kitchen skills. In addition, most culinary schools require an apprenticeship in a commercial kitchen. Apprenticeships have helped celebrity chefs to discover and develop their niche in the cooking world. Having a niche or specialty is highly valued in the world of food today. Culinary school is an excellent choice for aspiring chefs. Maybe you will be the next Top Chef or maybe the next big food show…

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