Archive for the ‘Culinary Schools’ Category

What is a foodie?

Sunday, January 1st, 2012
Any time a conversation takes a culinary turn, the term “foodie” is likely to be tossed around. When it comes down to a precise definition, some may find themselves asking this question: What is a foodie? Generally, the term is slang for more grandiose terms, such as gourmet or epicure.
What is a foodie?
While it’s true that every foodie loves food, not every person who loves food is a foodie. Foodies take the enjoyment of food to a different level, beyond a simple appreciation of good-tasting food. They view eating as a sensuous activity, one that engages the senses, not just the sense of taste, but the senses of sight, touch, sound and smell as well.
A foodie is interested in all aspects of food, from its preparation to its presentation. Foodies typically extend their interest into learning about where and how the food is grown or raised, the history of foods and the technologies and equipment used to prepare the food. While foodies pay a great deal of attention to knowing the ingredients of food, a foodie is not the same as a food snob, a person who can only enjoy foods that are expensive, rare or hard to obtain.what is a foodie
When finances permit, a foodie may combine an interest in food with travel, exploring both the locations where interesting food is grown or raised and the region’s unique and distinctive cultural foods. Foodies enjoy discovering exotic ingredients and new methodologies of cooking. They follow trends in foods with keen interest, eagerly searching for the next mouth-watering culinary experience.
Foodies enjoy lively conversations with other people who are as passionate about food as they are. It’s no wonder that foodies often enroll in culinary schools to pursue their passion for food. Cooking schools offer courses in all the aspects of food in which foodies are most interested.
Foodies have a strong desire to learn about all the elements that go into preparing and presenting food that elevates a simple meal into a true, culinary experience. Those who aspire to become true foodies should look for culinary schools with instructors who can legitimately call themselves foodies, cooking schools with a refined and ardent devotion to food.

Simple Cooking With Six and Fewer Ingredients

Monday, June 27th, 2011

With respect to cooking as it truly exists, an art form, there is no one way to properly cook anything. But for any burgeoning chefs or budgeting college students who want or need to cook with six or fewer ingredients, there are a few major ways to do so: finding recipes that yield naturally low numbers of ingredients, whittling recipes down by substituting or omitting ingredients, and of course, an education in the field never hurts either.

There are hundreds of ramen-free recipes from cookies to crepes that are best marked by their subtle use of just a few ingredients. The common denominator, if there is one amongst this slew of wonderful creations, is that the natural flavor of staple ingredients such as sugar, spices, meat, and so on, need little or no enhancement. Essentially, using more naturally flavorful foods will eliminate the need to use many ingredients.TS-200451924-001

Even stew, like the deliciously simple frogmore stew, can weigh in at a flavorful six ingredients: potatoes, kielbasas, corn, shrimp, crabs, and old bay seasoning. After assembling the ingredients, cooking is a breeze: fill a large pot, at least 10 or so quarts, halfway with water. Then cook the potatoes, add Old Bay, then the kielbasa, the corn, the crabs, and the shrimp. Strain, and less than an hour later, dinner is served.

There are also a number of crockpot recipes that use few ingredients and even less time while providing large, hot, and wholesome meals for busy people. Sloppy Joes, for example, come in at a streamlined 5 ingredients: 2.5 pounds of beef, ¼ cup of water, ½ teaspoon salt, an onion, and 8 to 12 ounces of sweet chili sauce, or whatever sauce is desired. Brown the beef, combine it with everything in the crockpot, wait five hours, and game over. Sloppy Joes for a family at five ingredients, less than 20 dollars, and little time wasted.

Aside from utilizing recipes that are naturally low in ingredients, the major thought process in “slimming down” recipes for fewer number of ingredients is retaining the flavor profile. Most ingredients such as flour, yeast, and other gluten-based proteins provide structure and cannot really be omitted, unless one wants unleavened or gluten-free food. Thinking of the meal or dish categorically, however, is very helpful in cutting out ingredients and also maintaining a healthy diet. Ensuring that every meal or dish has a major source of protein, carbohydrates, fruit, and vegetables, for example, give one to four ingredients, leaving a few ingredients for spices, sauces, and other embellishments.

In addition to the two aforementioned techniques, receiving an education at any one of the world’s thousands of cooking schools will be of great help in cooking with few ingredients. Culinary schools will essentially “teach one to fish” by not only impo by supporting the ability to actually create recipes and modify others. After education and experimentation, the only thing left to do is eat!

Challenging Vegan Culinary Plates

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Top culinary schools teach students how to cook every conceivable type of food, including preparing vegan meals. Vegans are somewhat restrictive in their choice of edible foods, but, in spite of this fact, vegans have hearty appetites and love the foods they eat. Cooking dinner for a vegan is easy and fun because vegetarian food choices are sure to turn into culinary delights. It takes more creativity and originality to cook main courses that are suitable for vegans to eat, which is one reason cooking meals for vegans is an educational experience for the serious culinary student. TS-200423050-001

Vegans do not eat dairy products, fish or any animal products, including beef, chicken and pork. Vegans eat a large variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts. Although at first glance these food groups might look as though they are severely limited, a second glance assures the inventive cook that this is not the case. There are many delicious meals that are easily prepared from foods that are not related to the animal kingdom. Eliminating dairy products and flesh foods is challenging on the surface, but cooking without these foods is not that difficult.

There are many processed vegan foods that take the place of milk, cheese, ice cream and even meat products that can easily be used as substitutions in standard recipes, although the nutritional aspects of some of the vegan meat substitutes are highly questionable. It is far better to make vegan meals from scratch, as opposed to using processed vegan food products. Vegan foods simply taste better and offer more nutritional benefits when they are not processed, and cooking schools teach students to cook with garden-fresh vegetables.

There are many different types of soups that are vegan, and top culinary schools teach students how to make lentil and black bean soups, both of which are vegan foods. Soups made from legumes are satisfying and delicious. Vegan vegetable soups are simple to make, and they give a creative cook the chance to experiment with different varieties of vegetables. Various seasonings and spices enliven up any vegan dish. Extra virgin olive oil tossed over a fresh salad adds intense flavor. Prepare stir-fried vegetables served over a plate of steaming brown rice. There are many pasta dishes that are vegan, including sea shells with fresh tomato sauce. Serve loaves.

Vegans love to eat delicious desserts, and there are many recipes available in cooking schools that can easily be transformed into vegan pastries, cakes, pies and cookies. Fruit pies, such as peach, cherry or apricot pies, are easily prepared without the use of any animal foods. Try baking a delicious vegan pecan pie. Most dessert recipes are easily changed into vegan recipes by substituting a few simple ingredients. Never hesitate to try something new. Cooking is creative, and there are chefs who are, in fact, true artists. A great cook is capable of changing recipes and making the end results better, and a skilled cook knows how to cook delectable vegan meals and desserts.

What Celebrity Chef Are You?

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Flamboyant, loud, hilarious, and full of life, celebrity chefs have revolutionized what it means to cook. These chefs have completely transformed what many see as a mundane task into something fun and hot, inspiring the masses to put down the TV dinner and try their hand in the kitchen. From the novice home chefs to graduates of top culinary schools more and more are picking up their spatulas and braving the heat to create amazing dishes for friends and loved ones.

Where do you fit in with these passionate masters of delish? Are you a down home gal with a love for fried food or do you demand excellence with each dish? Which of these celebrity chefs are you?

Celebrity Chef: Julia Child

The legendary Julia Child was the first celebrity chef. She taught millions how to cook with her unique, easy style of instruction and remains a favorite among professional chefs and lovers of food alike. A master of the French cuisine, Julia Child pioneered the TV chef field hosting several television shows and publishing dozens of books.

You know you’re Julia if you are:

• passionate about food and life.
• brave enough to try new and even complex dishes.
• have a love for tradition and enjoy the contemporary too.

Celebrity Chef: Wolfgang Puck

The Austrian born chef is credited with helping develop California as a culinary mecca. Wolfgang Puck started out with a background in French cooking and today has an incredible empire and is a household name. Puck opened Spago in Hollywood and that restaurant would launch him to celebrity status. A philanthropist, Emmy winner, and author Wolfgang Puck continues with his mantra of good food and good service.

You’re Wolfgang Puck if you:

• have a big heart.
• believe that good food is born from love.
• Started at the bottom to build an empire.

Celebrity Chef: Paula Deen

With a big smile, sparkling blue eyes, and that endearing southern drawl Paula Deen knows about home cooking. The epitome of the down home southern gal, Paula Deen triumphed over tragedy and even agoraphobia to become one of the most well-known and well-loved celebrity chefs out there today. Her dishes are Southern style comfort food. From the traditional turkey pot pie to Cornmeal Waffles with Spicy Chili Paula Deen’s recipes are not for the weak of heart.

So, how do you know if you rank with Paula Deen?

Well you have got to:

• love good home cooked meals.
• not be afraid of butter.
• be ready to take life by the horns.

You do not have to be a celebrity chef to live like one. Cooking is all about art and expression and passion and these celebrity chefs certainly understand that. It doesn’t matter if you have not graduated from top culinary schools or never set foot in a cooking school you too can go by the words of these masters. As Wolfgang Puck would say “live, love, eat!”

Making your own Wedding Cake

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

TS-76804690If you’re like me, you’ve watched the bevy of cake shows on TV — Cake Boss, Ace of Cakes, and so on — with awe. The creations of some of these baking masters seem to defy logic, not to mention gravity, so I am always surprised to see what they come up with. Now, I don’t have a fancy degree from one of the top culinary schools, so the prospect of TV-level baking is daunting. Still, though, I found myself wanting to try to bake something more impressive than a square cake out of the box. Then it hit me: I could make my own wedding cake!

If you want to make your own wedding cake, you needn’t shell out the money for one of the cooking schools on TV. I would recommend practice, though. Particularly if you’ve never made a multi-level cake before, you’re going to need some work before you can make a flawless wedding cake. Don’t despair, though: baking has to be among the most enjoyable arts to practice. Even if your early results are misshapen, ugly, or downright sad, they’ll still be tasty. Well, actually I should clarify: your results SHOULD be tasty. My accidentally egg-less cake was a bit of a flop (excuse the pun!).If you want to make your own wedding cake, too, I have a couple of suggestions. First, you have to learn the basics. There are several introductory baking or cake-making books that might be of use. Another option is to attend a baking class. My local technical schooloffers an introductory course to cake baking, which really helped me improve my skills. I also made some new friends and had a lot of fun, so it was an all around good experience.There are some pretty big differences between a typical cake and a wedding cake. If you’re really looking to impress, you’re going to need to use fondant. Fondant is easier to work with than other frostings in terms of decorating or elaborate sculptures. You can make your own, or else buy some from a bakery or craft store. I decided to make my own. After all, what’s the point of making a cake from scratch if you’re going to have someone else whip up the frosting? Anyway, fondant is particularly useful for making decorations like bows or flowers. These take practice to make, but cake decoration is a fun skill to have so the practice is well worth the time input.TS-82088886

You also need to think about structural supports when making a wedding cake with many layers. These layers can be heavy, and you don’t want your cake to collapse on the big day. Don’t get discouraged, though. This stuff isn’t too hard to learn, and once you learn it you’ll be well on your way to making your own wedding cake. Who knows, you may enjoy yourself so much that you’ll end up going to cooking school! Whatever happens, I wish you the best of luck. Happy baking!

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