Focus: To discuss the wide variety of presentation techniques and their artistic representations utilizing the equipment available.
I. Culinary Artistry
1. Color Variation with the Seasons
a. Use the seasons and their colors to liven up your foods, the students will notice, the warming effects they will have.
b. Utilize multi varietal color schemes to give foods that pop that shows contrast
c. Know your seasons and what foods they provide, they will help determine for menu variations and give contrast to color as well as flavor
a. Depth- give your food depth, it will help with contrast and color variations, depth is also very psychological, and will give the consumer a starting point and ending point to a panoramic view of your dish.
c. Texture- as much as you’d think about the texture of food as being something you would have to taste, the different textures of foods, and how they coincide with depth help give a panache of artistry to your dishes. If everything has all of the same textures then all of the color in the world will not give your dish the desired effect.
d. Garnishment- Always try to garnish your dishes with at least something. If you can’t provide suitable depth and texture, then a little garnishment goes a long way, they do tend however to go together quite well.
3. Cleanliness and Usage of Dishes
a. Wiping the Edges- it is what it says, give the dish a clean appearance, and the other techniques will fall into place and will help pop out the dish much easier.
b. Plating in Pans- Use the right pan for the right job. Half pans, hotel pans, etc. Don’t let the serving utensil fall into the pan, if you use the right pan, then your utensils will have a harder time falling in the dish
c. Last thing- Change out the pans after they run low, don’t add to unless you will not change the presentation you started with. Always garnish the food when changing out with the new fresh pan.
Knife Skills and Safety
Focus: To Properly Use a Chefs Knife while completing a variety of common preparation tasks
To Educate on the main types of Chefs knives, and how to correctly care for, sharpen and maintain the quality of knives.
1. Knife Safety
A. How to use and hold a knife
1. Pinch Grip- the essential grip, which gives the most control of any chefs knife, it helps to keep yourself from cutting your fingers whilst slicing through foods.
2. Opposite Hand Knife Placement- Where do you put your other hand? How to protect your thumb. How to use your other hand as a cutting guide to provide better stability, precision and more accurate cuts.
3. Rocking, Slicing Motion- Use the most out of your knife, if you use any other knife except for a 8” or 10” chefs knife, you are not being precise. Those larger knives will increase your cutting potential and allow you greater versatility and control.
B. Do’s and Don’ts When Handling Knives
1. Sharper knives are safer knives. A sharp knife will only cut your skin, a dull knife will tear the skin and will increase healing time.
2. Cutting board placement- Always use a wet towel to keep your cutting board in place, if you don’t, what good is all of your other safety techniques. Always keep your cutting board neat, and clean of debris, this will help keep you from unintentionally cutting into something else,which could cause a slip with the knife.
3. Sanitation of your knife- Always wash your knife by hand, never use the dish machine. The machine uses chemicals to breakdown food deposits, and can seriously damage your knife, it can dull it, or cause microfractures which could potentially harm you when using the knife. NEVER put your knife in a sink of water, always put your knives in a specific place, so that everyone knows where they are.
C. Parts of the Knife, Styles of Knives
1. Parts of a Chefs knife
a. Point, Tip, Cutting Edge- Fine cutting techniques, tourne
b. Spine, Heel, Bolster- Using the spine for stability
c. Tang, scales, handle/butt
2. Types of knives
a. Chefs knife- should be used 90% of the time
b. Serrated- bread knife, serrated chef’s knife, tomato knife
c. Utility, boning, fillet,
3. Styles of knives
a. Carbon Steel and its pro’s and cons
b. Stainless steel- most common these days, the better the steel, the sharper the blade, the longer it lasts
c. Titanium, plastic, ceramic- inferior knives
4. Honing, Sharpening, and Storage
a. Honing- always hone your knife before each use, it will prolong the life of your knife, it will give your knife its edge back
b. Sharpening- using a stone or machine sharpened is best, a diamond steel will damage the edge of your knife
c. Storage- always store your knife clean, in a knife sleeve or in a special drawer with the blades facing a specific way. Also store your knives in a bag, or utility box.
II. Common and Specialty Knife Cuts
1. Slicing Techniques
a. Dice Styles-Lg, Med, Sm, and Burnois dice and its applications to mirepoix, consomme, and other basic soups and stocks
b. Mince- its uses
c. Batonnet and its regressions to julienne, fine julienne
2. Specialty Knife Cuts
a. Supremes and portioning citrus
b. Rondelle and Diagonals
c. Tourne- mushrooms
3. Fillet Techniques, Uses, and Trims
a. Filleting tomatoes, using a fillet knife? or getting away with a chefs knife, fish filleting
b. Butterflying techniques
c. Filleting or butterflying steaks, and fillet techniques for butchering
III. Brands of Knives and Their Applications
1. German Steel- Softer steel, more malleable, use steel more often
a. Wusthof- Thick handles, spine, heavy knife for big hands, good for butchering
b. Messermeister- medium handle style, medium weight
c. Henkel- similar to wusthof and messermeister, not too many forged handles though
2. Japanese Steel
a. Global-Lightweight, extremely sharp, usually uses FG-42 steel, keeps its edge for a long period of time, not for use with butchering
b. Miyabi- Japanese steel with western handle, medium spine, light and versatile
c. Kramers- Usually german steel, but now made with japanese steel, using SG-2 steel, with a Damascus finish and heavy western brass wood handle, extremely sharp, other variations with carbon steel. If using a carbon steel knife, wash after every use, any acid or oxidation will ruin the knife permanently, you can always force Bettina the knife by submerging it in vinegar water and drying appropriately, it will turn the blade black, but will not ruin the blade and its sharpness.
3. Cheaper Knives
a. Next Day Gourmet- cheaper german style steel knives, good for line cooks or for people who need to practice techniques, I prefer the offset serrated knife and its many uses.
b. Forschner- produces forged and unforged knives, mid level quality, quality of blade lasts only 1-2 years of kitchen use.
c. Store bought- cheap, effective for home use only with people with no technique. Brittle steel, and dulls much quicker. Spine tends to break with medium to heavy butchering.