Pastachef, I really admire you and the work that you do. I bet you could teach us all a thing or two! ;)
Sounds to me like you're looking for what they actually teach you in school. Let me give you an overview of my 1st year.
We started with sanitation, of course. For our techniques class, we started with stocks (essential and too often overlooked. I still see lots of "chefs" who can't make a proper stock to save their hide!). We learned the basic vegetable cuts, how to make consommé, breakfast menues (esp. French omelette), stuffed crêpes, and all kinds of different potato preparations. We moved on to sauce making, the mother sauces and a few derivatives, grilling, roasting, braising meats, Chicken Kiev, Cordon Bleu, Navarin of lamb, curries, Boeuf Bourguignonne. We also learned short crust and quiche making. I'm skipping a lot, but those are some of the main themes.
We also had a Food Theory class that went alonside it. We are introduced to wet/dry heat cooking, convection, broiling, pan-frying vs sautéing, etc etc. We looked at the various ingredients in the 5 basic food groups from a theoretical and practical standpoint.
In the 2nd semester, we also did some basic baking (disaster!). In our techniques class we also started making more elaborate preparations such as chaud-froid, forcemeat, patés, scallops and mussels, Asian-inspired hors d'oeuvre, sweetbreads, fish, game, mousses, timbales, etc.
Third semester, we do entirely garde-manger. Can you believe we did devilled eggs today? I'm so embarassed.... :rolleyes: . They insist that we must learn this...
Anyway, I could go on and on. If you'd like more info, just email me.