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Go to school or learn on your own

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I've been considering the idea of entering cooking school. For me it's more a personal interest than a profesional one. I'm not planning to work as a cook. I always enjoyed cooking and just want to learn more.

Would like to hear your opinion on this matter. Do you think it's possible to improve your cooking knowledge just from cooking and learning from books? There are so many techniques that maybe it's not possible to learn them just from reading cooking books. I've also attended various courses but don't know if you can really become a good cook on your own.

Thanks to you all, your opinion is very appreciated.
post #2 of 5
I do believe you can improve your cooking knowledge from books. As long as you select the right books. What is often more difficult is to improve your technical skills solely from a book. Many of the skills are hands on things that take practice and it needs to be practice of the correct technique as opposed to practice of the incorrect technique. To this end schools may be the best since you have the availability of direct critique of your technique from an instructor. If school is not an option then you may well be able to find DVD's/videos that at least show the technique in action.
In some cases you may be able to rent the DVD's/videos otherwise you can buy them.

In addition to all the many techniques one must also consider the plethora of ingredients that exist. Some schools may provide more exposure to this than others and certainly more than a learn on your own scenario in most cases.

I firmly believe that if a person truly wants to learns something, then they will.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks jbd for your answer! I was looking for these DVDs but didn't find any, only the CIA videos that didn't like them that much, I'm looking more for demostration videos. If you could recommend me some I'll appreciate it,
post #4 of 5
Its very true what Jbd has said, If you really want to learn then you will cooking school or not. I know alot of places offer various 'skill' clases or 'technique' classes nowadays. the most popular being Knife skills.

Another thing you can do and im not to sure how effective this will be for you and its also something im about to do. Go to a restaurant and ask to volunteer a day or two in their kitchen. this way you can ask questions or ask to be shown a technique by the chef or sous in that establishment. Now I honestly dont know how this will work for you since i am going to a bakery to learn cake deco skills and not cooking technique. I do know that when i was an intern at Jean George in New York we would get cooks or sous chefs from out of state alot who would come into the kitchen to work a day to basicly see the workings of Jean George restaurants because he is such a big name in the Food world.

You can try that route becase honestly cooking school is just plain exspensive. But hey if you have the money for it I say go for it because ultimately it is your best way to learn technique in cooking.
post #5 of 5
Try this Cooking instruction videos on DVD: Learn Culinary / Cooking There are some CIA DVD's but there are some other ones as well.

If the link doesn't take you there then go to smartflix.com and find "everything else" on the menu. From there you should be able to find "culinary" and from there you will have a choice of "baking"; "cooking"; or "wine"

I have only watched the video clips on the CIA website promoting their DVD's. My take on them is that they demonstrate basic cooking techniques or basic knife skills.
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