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Online schooling?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi there,

I am not a professional at all. But I am interested in becoming more capable in the kitchen. In school I never took a cooking class, and now I regret it. I love cooking but lack true skill. I am interested in finding out if there is a supplementary online schooling. I'm interested in knowing foods and how to cook them properly. Typically when I follow a recipe I somehow screw it up and I'm tired of that. Any websites or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
post #2 of 9
Try this one.

Good luck
post #3 of 9

my advice...

My advice would be to cook , cook, and cook some more. If there are any classes offered by local chefs in your area, go to them. cooking is a hands on art form. If your having troubles with the recipes, don't follow them. Use them as a guide, and taste everything throughout the whole cooking process. I have found alot of recipes to be flawed also.
My life, my choice.....
My life, my choice.....
post #4 of 9
Cooking is very much a "hands on" education. It would be kind of like learning ballet over the internet. Sure you could learn the lingo, get a better understanding of basic theory and concepts but without doing and someone there to taste, see and smell your results, it would be an eduction that is lacking greatly. Don't get me wrong, I think the internet is a great way to get an education. I have a couple of friends who did most of their course work over the internet, the difference is their's was an "intellectual" education (Poli Sci) whereas a culinary education is a skill based education and it must be hands.
post #5 of 9
I am greatly offended by your implication and contention.
I have learned a great many things over the Internet requiring a "hands-on," "skill-based education."
How to play the accordion, for instance.
And, more relevant to the topic at hand, ballet.
Hence, "taste, see and smell" my Entrechat, you Philistine Luddite.
post #6 of 9
You can learn many great things on the internet, but the internet is not regulated, and you can also learn bad techniques on the net. For every good recipe, there are a ton of bad ones.

I'd suggest getting a textbook (the one they use around here is called 'On Cooking', another very good book is Jaques Pepin's 'Complete techniques') and reading it cover to cover, then cooking out of it, following the techniques taught. Other favourite books are Alain Ducasse's 'Grand Livre de la Cuisine', any Thomas Keller book, I've also heard very good things about the CIA textbook. I prefer books to the internet since they are generally more reliable sources of information.

Work out of a professional textbook, follow the techniques, and you'll get better.
post #7 of 9
Wow Paul! A little high strung??? Sorry but I stand by my statement. Sure there are things you can learn over the internet, and many things you can learn through cookbooks also, but they aren't and can't be the end all, be all of a culinary education. I can give you a recipe, give you pictures, and even a video on how to make the perfect demi glace, but until you have tasted, felt and smelled a properly made demi you are just "shooting in the dark". There are so many variables in the art of cooking that blanket recipes can't always cut it. A person needs to, physically, be shown what the proper end product is.
post #8 of 9
Cooking is definitely hands on.

I've not had any formal training in culinary arts, but have some experience mass production food service, cafe style grilling/food service, as well as home cooking. The first is where I started to learn some about the various tools available that typically do not adorn a standard house kitchen. The second is where I had the most fun, having 40 - 60 grill orders in front of me and a grill that I was responsible for with every square inch covered with things cooking. The latter is where I experiment and find things that work, and don't work.

A prime example is a Tex Mex stew recipe I got from a cookbook. The recipe itself is good, but I wanted a bit more heat as well as a bit more hearty. SO I upped the ante on some of the ingredients (especially the beef) and decided to add to it as well. Only one ingredient at a time, though, to see if it was good. First I added some southwest seasoning from Pampered Chef. It turned up the heat a bit, but didn't really do it for me. Still a decent batch of stew, and I eagerly consumed it (Mrs. Big Dog is not a fan of heat, or any spices really). I just made it again last night and kaboshed that PC seasoning, and tried some of Emeril Lagasse's Southwest Essence (home made from Emeril's recipe). I haven't completely tested it (meaning sat down and had a portion) but from tasting through the cooking, I'm liking it. Still get the rich flavor and texture at first taste, and then the heat starts to "kick it up a notch." A wee bit overzealous this go round with cilantro, which isn't one of my favorite herbs to work with, though it does add distinctive flavor. Might icks-nay it sometime and see what happens.

Point is, cooking is hands on. I'm confident much can be learned in a classroom format, but until you put that learning to practical use it doesn't do you much.

FYI, Big Dog is college educated (bachelor of science) but not in culinary arts or a similar discipline. For sure that makes me a better person, but not a better chef.
"Life ain't always beautiful; Sometimes it's just plain hard. Life can knock you down, it can break your heart. Life ain't always beautiful: You think you're on your way. And it's just a dead end road, at the end of the day. But the struggles make you stronger, and the changes make you wise. And...
"Life ain't always beautiful; Sometimes it's just plain hard. Life can knock you down, it can break your heart. Life ain't always beautiful: You think you're on your way. And it's just a dead end road, at the end of the day. But the struggles make you stronger, and the changes make you wise. And...
post #9 of 9
I'll stand by Pete and Big Dog on this. You can learn theory online, but untill you actually do it in practice you will never be able to get it down. I would never hire someone who took all their classes online and never had a practical approach. It's called experience. At least in a hands on enviroment you can see what your doing. It's like buying a car. I can read about it and learn about it all day long online, but until I've actually driven it........
I'm a glorified babysitter...........Yippeeee!!!!!!!
I'm a glorified babysitter...........Yippeeee!!!!!!!
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