I have great passion for food, the outdoors, and automotive/Metalwork.
Culinary Arts Professor
Soooo, we had our first class meeting with the group opening the Restaurant, quite a group I must say! It took us about 2 hours to get 13 people to decide on what theme we will have. After 1 hour of throwing ideas up against what I like to call a "sounding board" we began to hit home. The Final decision is: Signature Cuisine of Historic Hotels" and we did not limit the countries that are included. We did decide that we would limit the time frame for them to between 1875 - 1975 to keep some perspective. We are working on the menu now and they are researching some very famous dishes which we will put our spin on.
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So next Wednesday January the 12th the students meet for the first class to begin planning the new menu. I have a lot of very talented students in this group, and the first task is to pick a "theme" for the restaurant or what type of restaurant we will be. I usually start by breaking down the styles of cuisine, beginning with Haute Cuisine and progressing all the way to Chef Driven. Along the way, we talk about the many iterations of cuisine that have evolved throughout the history of gastronomy, and we have already explored the specific cuisines of countries and regions. This seems to be the most difficult part, and we have lively discussions until something just clicks and makes sense with the current state of food or fits very well. After, we begin building the basic menu by breaking it into categories beginning with entrees and progress into the other courses following these guiding principles: Clientele, Cost, Cross-utilization, Availability, Seasonality, Variety, and Familiarity. We also account fro skill, equipment, and difficulty of execution along the way. I will keep up to date, and we will visit this site on the first day of class. Keep up the good work!
So I thought I would follow up on my very first post. I am not sure if I "fit in" with most of the lovely wonderful people who are here. There are 2 main reasons, the first being: I am not a Social Media type. I am tech challenged and as of yet I am on my 2nd cell phone, which is not even a smart one. Kind of difficult to upload pics of the foods without one. I do, however enjoy viewing the ones posted! I am what some would consider old school, and do not belong to any of the big social media platforms. The second problem I have is that being a Chef and Culinary Arts Professor is that I rarely eat out. There are several reasons for that, the first being that normally I can make it better and cheaper myself, and the second is that I am rarely impressed by the food when I do dine out. (There have been a few occasions however.) I will travel and sample foods, but usually in the name of R&D for classes.
I have traveled the food world on my own learning as I go, and try to bring back as much as I can to the students as possible. Keep up the good work and keep posting so I can share it with the students. My hope is to let them see it so they will venture out to work at some of the places featured on this great website! If you would like to see some of the training and creations our students produce you can visit it on the Facebook site run by our Administrator at: Rend Lake College Culinary Arts Facebook.
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New to the site, I am a Culinary Instructor. Every year, we create a new restaurant with the group of students. It is only open for 8 weeks. We have 48 class meeting hours to plan, with a talented group of students. I like to introduce them to the much larger "food world" that is out there and encourage them to venture into it. We are located in the Midwest of the USA, so the dining options are limited and very rural. The closest food destination is St. Louis, Mo. and that is about 2 hours away. We do explore as much as we can in our classes and I bring in foods from international stores during our "Pro 3" class. We cover 16 countries in 16 weeks that are non-regional. I also cook many items at home that are considered non-traditional in our area. I am "old school" and do not take pictures but am interested in suggestions for our menu this year. Any help would be greatly appreciated, and will be presented to the students for ideas. Thanks!