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I want to self-teach myself, any advice?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I will be attending culinary school in 6 months, and I'm a line cook. I have that book "the professional chef". I figured I'd start from the begging to the end and teach myself all of the techniques in my spare time. What do you guys think about that. Any advice would be great. thanks.
post #2 of 4
I've been cooking for 46 years now. Couple of years ago I seriously investigated going to Culinary School and changing careers. Then I saw the price tag. I could have spent that much money and become a lawyer and I'd be rich by now, not working for $8-12/hour as a cook.

So, I bought the Professional Chef and Professional Cooking and added them to my Escoffier cookbook (from 1970s), a few others I'd gathered along the way (Joy of Cooking, my first; French Chef 1 & 2, and a few others.)

I think it was a good way to go. I'd already had an extensive knowledge, but these books especially put a lot of things and current thinking together for me.

post #3 of 4
read the book,start applying for better postions and send me your $40,000 for this advice!!!!!
post #4 of 4
With a your book, and your experience as a line cook, you will be able to give yourself a great start. I would imagine you are familiar with most of the equiptment due to your job.

Though I can't say I know exactly what book you are holding, I am sure it will give you a good knowledge base. I would imagine that the book has recipes. Try some of them when you can.

I would recomend trying your hand at a stock, because a stock is a foundation for great tasting items. If I had to list them in order that I would try - I would head for soups and sauces first. My instructor preached a good soup starts with a good stock. I would not have been able to figure out clarifying a stock on my own, but perhaps your experience will assist you there. Read what qualities are desireable in a stock and see if you can produce the same results. Same with soups - get some opinions, try your hand at adjusting it. Same thing with sauces. I would go with mother sauces, and then make some secondary sauces with them. Look for those good qualities.

Spices would be what I would recomend after that. Get a feel for the flavors added from those spices (along with reconition).

Physical skills would be my third suggestions. Classic knife cuts, breaking down poultry ect.. things like that.

Terminology and sanitation items (like temperatures) would be my last suggestion for you.

I hoped that I havent bum doped you and this tid bit helps. This was just based on my experience, you might be totally different. Just dont loose sight of the head start you wish to achieve. How envious I am of you, you are off to a great start. With your efforts before hand, you will only need slight adjustments from your instructor rather than complete introductions.

best of luck.
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