As we continue to explore the world of cooking, while still becoming very hungry with each delicious description, we cannot avoid talking about cooking lessons.
Cooking can and has become a successful career for many. For this same reason, there are many reputable culinary institutes all around the world.
We will go into detail about cooking classes around the USA and around the globe later, but for now, let’s discuss what it is people learn in cooking lessons.
People attending culinary school are typically people that enjoy the art of cooking and wish to learn more about it to become a professional chef.
Becoming a chef isn’t the only goal when going to culinary school. Some people wish to open up their own restaurant someday and you cannot become a restaurant owner without having some cooking education!
You may even be interested in working with restaurants but not specifically in one. Some examples are a career in public relations with a focus on the culinary industry or maybe even a food critic for a magazine.
Depending on the culinary institute you are attending, classes may differ in your school and main area of focus.
One thing is certain, there are some cooking classes that are essential for any culinary career. These classes are typically the basics and will assist you when learning your more complex culinary classes in the future.
Culinary Basics – The Art of French Cooking
When you hear culinary basics many things may come to mind, maybe even easy things. But believe it or not, culinary basics go much deeper than just learning how to cut up vegetables and meat.
By seeing our title, it may seem confusing as to why we added basics and French cooking together.
This is because French cuisine is not only one of the finest and oldest in the world but it is also considered by many as the "mother cuisine" that all other cuisines took shape out of.
This may be hard to digest when you think about French versus Japanese cuisine because they seem nothing alike.
Although this is true, French cuisine is admired greatly in western culture. Their techniques and preparations have been carefully structured over centuries that if students learn this cuisine first, others may seem simpler to grasp.
French cuisine is far from basic. You not only learn traditional cooking techniques but you also will learn about their wine, cheese, and desserts.
Some famous and very commonly used French cooking techniques that you will most likely learn in this class are flambéing, sautéing, poaching, broiling, braising and baking.
Once culinary students learn the basic cooking techniques, cooking and following recipes become a lot easier.
Baking and Pastry Lessons
We apologize in advance for the continued tempting food content. This next one may be hard to follow without grabbing a snack!
For any of our sweet tooth readers, we have reached your favorite part, baking, and pastries!
These two topics are also fundamental when attending culinary school. We roughly discussed baking in our article about cooking’s history, but let's look into it a bit more.
Baking is usually done in an oven and uses dry heat to prepare food. Generally, any type of food can be baked, but the famous, and possibly favorite, one of them is bread!
Other common ones include cookies, cakes, tarts, meats, vegetables, and the list goes on and on. Because of this long list, it is important to master baking techniques early on in your cooking lessons.
Baking is part of human history, with ovens found as early as 6,500 years ago in Croatia. Ancient Egypt and Greece also once created ovens that have been found throughout history.
Moving on to some other delicious baked goods, pastries. The pastry is dough made of flour, water, and shortening that can be savory or sweet. Shortening is a type of solid fat including butter.
The most common known pastries can be croissants, pies, tarts and quiches.
We generally associate the word “pastry” with the fancy $5 croissant or pain au chocolat that you bought at your trendy bakery right around the corner this morning. But, the French word patisserie is literally anything made from dough.
Far from being considered fancy by the French, they sure are loved.
Pastries and baking are associated greatly, but that doesn’t mean that they do not have any differences.
The difference between the two is that pastries tend to be higher in fat, which may be the reason why we enjoy them more.
The higher fat content helps bring that flakey texture to the pastry, which is why we can never resist a flakey buttery croissant.
Remember, if you start taking any cooking lessons, you are most likely going to learn how to bake bread and pastries.
Luckily, you will be able to practice it often as plenty of cuisines around the world use these methods in their dishes.
Plus, if you ever run out of bread at home, you can just bake it!
Unfortunately, we cannot promise you that cooking lessons include teaching you self-control. But, if you have a hard time resisting your own food, then that just means you are becoming an excellent cook!
Learning International Cuisines
It is hard to decide what the best cuisines are because it varies on personal preference. However, it is great to always try new cuisines, even if you end up having more than one favorite.
By learning a country’s cuisine you can also learn and understand that country’s culture.
When it comes to cooking lessons you will most definitely be exposed to international cuisines. This can be whether you are enrolled in a culinary institute, you signed up for some cooking classes near you via Group On or you are just watching the cooking channel.
Knowing how to cook a bit of everything is important in your cooking lessons, especially when it comes to international cooking.
When going to elementary school, you are not just learning math and reading. You are also taught science, history, and art. The same goes for cooking.
You cannot become a good chef without being aware of other types of food and techniques around the world.
Plus, your palette would get very bored if you are just cooking one type of food every single night.
To name a few of the most popular cuisines we have seen to be highly rated: Italian, Indian, Mexican, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, French and Greek.
Just had some good dumplings last week at your city’s Chinatown? How about that pizza you at that are just around the corner from your place? In the mood for something spicy? Why not grab a curry to go or some tacos with extra hot salsa? Maybe you’ll just go for some chicken pad Thai again.
Cooking With a Group or Personal Tutor
Either all this cooking talk has either made you hungry or eager to sign up for some cooking classes near you.
Either way, they will result in eating some delicious dishes and hopefully trying something new.
We referenced how culinary institutes taught some traditional French methods and international cuisines, but culinary institutes are not the only ones teaching.
In old days, cooking was always seen as a woman’s task and duty, but with the increase of both men and women interested in cooking, there are many ways you can learn how to cook.
You may be trying to step out of your comfort zone and want to try new activities. Signing up for cooking classes near you is the perfect way to meet people and have fun!
With companies such as Group On or just with a click of a button, you can find many cooking schools or centers near you that make cooking fun and affordable to anyone that may want to spice it up in their kitchen.
These types of cooking centers won’t require you to sign up for a school program and will allow you to try it once or however many times you wish.
Participating in these cooking classes as a birthday celebration or just on a Saturday night can be a creative way to learn and enjoy.
You may want to take cooking lessons mostly because you are completely lost in the kitchen and even frying an egg can be a disaster for you.
Companies like Superprof have really made a name for themselves in connecting people with private tutors or instructors in just about any genre, including cooking.
Superprof will connect you to private cooking instructors that are near you and will show you through their website the person’s experience, ratings from other students and pricing.