First you'll learn how to hold a knife, where to hold it (most beginning cooks grab a knife too far back on the handle) and where to hold the guiding hand. The first lessons focus on product recognition, knife skills and food safety. It will take more than a few days at the start of your program before using a stove. There is no doubt that I arrived at ICE with the mentality that I already had some culinary skills, but I can say from my own experience that the teaching method at ICE, which starts from the beginning, was fundamental to the training that was given both inside and outside the classroom.
At Dorsey College, you can also learn the pleasure of experimenting with different cooking techniques, skills and ingredients. This will include important things, such as learning to work efficiently, and small things, such as cooking bacon to perfection. Joining a culinary arts program can take you from knowing the basics to specializing in a variety of multiple cooking techniques through the art of “learning by doing”. However, as you assimilate the culinary secrets that chefs learn in culinary school, you'll gain a certain confidence in the kitchen that's hard to come by any other way.
Learning the basics is only part of the process, as being exposed to different cuisines and cooking styles helps you thrive in a wider range of culinary and restaurant environments. It's also important to keep in mind that what you learn in culinary school will largely depend on you, as a student. In my “What I Learned in Culinary School” series, I'll share tips and tricks that I learned over two years working with some of the best chefs in the country. Learning about spice profiles is a crucial part of cooking without a prescription, something that all kitchen graduates should be able to do.
The ICE Culinary Arts program consists of five modules and 110 lessons, and concludes with an internship with an emphasis on fundamental learning. Recently, I attended a cooking school function, and learned exactly what's included in a culinary school curriculum. Here are the top 5 things I learned in culinary school and how I transferred that knowledge to my home kitchen. While you'll never stop learning in any culinary field, it's important to keep in mind that learning is only part of the process and that honing these skills can take months and years.