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5 Mandatory Dishes

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I wanted to ask the "Professional Chefs" a question. I'm a self-taught cook, and I cater from time to time to refine my skills. I take the craft very seriously, and it is my goal/hope to open up a restaurant one day in the near future. Unfortunately, I didn't have the opportunity to go to Culinary School, so I haven't been taught about the "classics", certain procedures, and then have the opportunity to repetitively practice them.

I am a classically trained percussionist, and every classically trained percussionist knows about the 13 basic rudiments...the 13 basic drum rudiments that are the basis for everything in percussion (5 stroke roll, 9 stroke roll, paradiddles, etc.). Played it, learned it, practiced it, etc. Same thing goes for food, which now leads to my question.

What are, in your professional opinions, are the five MANDATORY-type dishes that every chef should know? I am proficient at various techniques (Knife-Skills, Braising, Prepping, Sauce-Making, etc.), so I will be able to cook just about anything you state...but I think it is good to know the basics...the classics. I appreciate your help.
post #2 of 5
I really dont think there are manditory dishes as such. I do think styles of prep matter Braiseing- poaching -sauteing-Roasting-Grilling-Baking-Frying-steaming, one should have a knowledge of all of these. And The basic sauces, as it is from these that almost all things are created. :bounce:
post #3 of 5
check out; The Cook's Canon: 101 Classic Recipes Everyone Should Know by Raymond Sokolov. I don't think anyone actually knows all of thes dishes by heart, but it is an interesting compilation. just my .02
post #4 of 5
I don't think it's so much individual dishes as learning basic techniques. I once toyed with the idea of teaching a night class on basic cooking. My plan was to do certain focus dishes to teach basic technique. Soup; (they're all basically the same once you get past the cream/clear differential). If you can make cream of potato, then clam chowder, corn chowder, cream of broccoli etc. are no great trick. Same for roasts. If you can make a pot roast, you can make a prime rib. Same with roast chicken, duck, turkey etc. If you can do one, with minor variations you can do them all. If you can make mac and cheese, how hard could fettucini alfredo be? Not that much different from music really. Learn 3 chords, you can play any blues tune.
post #5 of 5
i dont think there are any mandatory dishes, reason being no 2 chefs will do them exactly the same. if you put a room full of chefs together to come up with a conscensus of what makes a true boulliabaisse or what is the right way to roast a chicken there would be nothing but drinking and shouting. as long as you have proper technique you can pretty much do any dish somebody thows in front of you.
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