The competition is getting younger every year!

17 Oct

They say that the Culinary Arts are a young man’s business (or woman), but OMG check out this video!

15 Oct

Eggs Benedict
This week we are delving into the controversial world of breakfast cookery. What breakfast is really depends on who you talk to. For the purpose of our class, we are going to visit some classical preparations as well as some classic American preparations

Menu

Group 1,3

Eggs Benedict
French Toast
Crepes w/ lemon chiffon filling
Polenta with butter and honey
Oven Fried Bacon
Tea

Group 2, 4
Low Country Eggs Benedict
Blueberry Pancakes
Waffles
Grits
Sausage
Coffee

Check out the Breakfast page of the blog to find out more about eggs.

The Chef’s Uniform

19 Sep

From doctors and nurses to ice cream men and garbage collectors, uniforms are the first thing people will notice when you are on the job. How you wear your uniform is reflection of you and how much you care about your profession.

The chef’s uniform, in addition to looking really snazzy, tells a story of tradition and hard, often dangerous work. Although today we think of chefs as professional artisans who command a certain degree of respect (who even achieve celebrity status at times), it is important to note that it was not always this way. In the 16th century many artisans faced persecution for their freethinking. In order to escape this, many of them sought refuge in the orthodox church living amongst the priests. They wore pretty much the same clothes as the priests. These clothes included tall hats. You can see from this picture the similarity, even after five centuries.
Orthodox PriestChef
It was Careme who tweaked that uniform just a tad to give us what we know today as the standard uniform. He added pleats to the tall hat. Some believe it was one pleat for each way a chef can prepare an egg.

Jacket
Careme is also credited with the double breasted jacket. The two layers of fabric act as an extra barrier in case of a spill. It is also helpful when you need to come out of the kitchen in front of customers. You just switch to the side of the jacket that is fresh and it is like putting on a brand new jacket. White is, by far, the color of choice. It conveys the commitment to cleanliness that should be one of the most important traits of a chef. The traditional style has given way to some interesting style interpretations and colors. You can even find jackets made of organic fiber in just about any color.

Apron
This one should really be self explanatory. The apron should always be worn in the kitchen, not only to protect your clothing, but as another barrier to things spilling on you. Contrary to popular belief, your apron is not a hand wiping cloth. Just because it is there to protect your pants, you don’t have to use it to wipe chicken blood on. You never know who will be coming through the kitchen for a visit. A good cook works cleanly and keeps their station immaculate. The cleanliness of your apron is usually the first thing someone will notice. Keep it fresh.

Pants
Traditionally chefs wear black pants or black and white checked pants. This is to hide stains. Nowadays the number of different styles of pants is endless. Chili peppers and silly cows aren’t for every establishment though, so be sure to check with your employer about their requirements. I prefer black pants because it conveys the professional attitude of a chef. For working chefs checks are certainly the way to go.

Shoes
You are on your feet for 16 hours a day 6 days a week. Falling objects, flooding mop sinks, and clumsy waitstaff are coming at you every moment. You want shoes that are safe, comfortable, and affordable. Clogs are very popular with chefs, but you should have a leather, closed toe, slip resistant, oil reistant shoe. And they should be polished. Not only does shining your shoes make you look more professional, it also gives you some extra wear time. The wax in the shoe polishes repels moisture which can wear out your leather.

Keith Driscoll

First Day

8 Sep

The first day of class went very well. About the Course section of the site is ready for you review. I put the syllabus in there. It is very important that the syllabus and uniform requirements be signed and returned to school ASAP! I’m looking forward to a great year with all of you

Job Search

3 Sep

The school year has just begun and you are already faced with high expectations from you teachers, your parents, and yourself. It may seem like there is no room to even begin to think about employment or college. If you are a junior or senior, it is essential that you begin planning your future. You may or may not be ready to begin looking for employment, part time or full time, but you do need to get out there and see what kinds of certifications, knowledge, and experience that you will need for your desired industry sector to give you an edge over the competition.

Go online, read the newspaper, and look at labor department webistes to see where you stand in terms of the requirements for the sorts of jobs that you want to get. By assesing yourself early, you are leaving yourself plenty of time to gain that extra certification, take that extra class, or brush up on some skills before you take the plunge into the workplace or go on to do extra study at a college or trade school.

These are some places where you can start looking for this information

If you are looking for job postings on the internet, the following links are good places to start. Don’t get discouraged if the job postings that you like are asking for skills, or requirements that you don’t posses yet. There is nothing that you cannot achieve if you really want it and put in the time and effort to get it.

If you have Itunes, you can check out this recent podcast from the Culinary Institute of America on the subject of food jobs. It really gives a lot of good information for students thinking about getting a culinary degree and the sheer number of jobs that are available.

General Job Search
Simply Hired
Monster Job Search
Craigs List-Use good judgement when browsing this site. It is largely unmoderated, but it is a valuable job search (it is where I found the job listing for my current position!)
Tweet My Job – Take advantage of twitter in a new way. This website will send you “to the second” updates about job listings that match your criteria.

Culinary Related Job Search:

I Hire Chefs
Chef2Chef

Note: Please do not give out any of your personal information to any of these websites without first checking with your parent or guardian. Even though these websites have been reviewed and deemed legitimate, it is possible that some of the job posts are attempts to collect personal information. Talk with your parents and teachers before you attempt to apply for any of these jobs.

The internet is a great tool, it is also a dangerous one if not used correctly. I do not want to see any of you get into any sort of trouble by using the internet inproperly. Safe Surfing!