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Some "cooking schools" online...

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

The Saturday Wall Street Journal has a small piece on three cooking school-type websites, which I am going to look at.

 

A free site at www.chefsteps.com is described as a "free online cooking school and community."  Sound familiar?

 

Harvard University's "Science & Cooking - From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science" will have, starting October 8, a free series featuring, among others, Ferran Adria and Harold McGee- sounds like a good start to me.  www.edx.org

 

America's Test Kitchen offers lessons on many subjects for $20/month at www.onlinecookingschool.com

For an additional $20/mo you can send in pictures of your homework for critiques and get questions

answered.                                                                                                        

 

I have no experience yet with any of these but thought maybe they would sound interesting to you, too.

 

Hoppy cookeeng... (to quote Jacques somebody)

 

Mike          

travelling gourmand
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post #2 of 23

My brother did the Harvard EDX program for computer science. You basically participate as if you were an enrolled student but you don't get official credit. He got his little certificate of completion but more so he got a taste of what college would be like and now he is serious about gearing up to enroll at our local state college.

post #3 of 23

I'm a big fan of Rouxbe, I've used it a lot in the past. Their videos and recipes are fantastic.

post #4 of 23

Mike, thanks a lot for sharing. I've also used Rouxbe and find them fantastic, but I welcome the new links, and am pretty impressed so far with the free chefsteps.com website. Wonder how they can make that service free! :eek:

post #5 of 23

Here's one I've been accessing for a while and it's a lot of fun.

 

http://www.chefsteps.com/

post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike9 View Post
 

Here's one I've been accessing for a while and it's a lot of fun.

 

http://www.chefsteps.com/

 

Ok but to set the record straight:

 

In my previous post I was surprised at the quality of the videos for a free website. I have since discovered that chefsteps is NOT a free online cooking school as they advertise themselves, but they are in fact advertising specific cooking equipment (related to modern cuisine techniques: siphons, molecular gastronomy powders and ingredients, vacuum machines and water ovens for sous vide cooking etc.). 

 

So you are watching ADVERTISEMENTS. Sure, they're in the form of cooking classes, but if you pay attention, you'll notice that the camera may linger a bit longer than normal on the brand name of that vacuum packing machine, or it may just stay on that "Sous Vide Supreme" water oven for 5 seconds so you get a good look at the brand - here's a screenshot of the "BBQ Beef Short Ribs recipe video":

 

 

 

So they're... sponsored videos if you want. They are still good, but I feel like they are lying to your face in the way they present their website: chefsteps is as much about trying to create a community of chefs and empower cooks that your neighbour's "tupperware party".

 

Sure, cheftalk also has ads, but I feel like it's easier to see what's an ad and what's content here on cheftalk, whereas on chefsteps content and advertising is one and the same. 


Edited by French Fries - 9/18/13 at 11:54am
post #7 of 23

I took the (free!) Science and Gastronomy class through the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology offered via Coursera and found it interesting. I and many of my classmates have also enrolled in the upcoming edX class through Harvard and I'm really looking forward to it!

post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hey, FF - I said I didn't know anything about those sites :rolleyes:  but actually, for an elaborate, undercover ad program, it looks like it might be interesting.

 

I'm going to stick around there, at least for a while. Maybe not long, as I no longer have any tolerance for commercials.  I won't listen to any TV or radio program without having a "mute" button. Maybe they've found a way to get me to listen to a commercial!

 

Mike 

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post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeLM View Post
 

Hey, FF - I said I didn't know anything about those sites :rolleyes:  

 

Mike, it wasn't directed at you in anyway! I believe you. And honestly I don't mind sponsored educational videos. I just don't like the way they try hide what they're really doing. I may still watch some of their videos, now that I know exactly why they were made and why they're distributed for free. 

post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 

FF - if I sounded upset or offended, I certainly wasn't.  A little surprised, maybe, as I haven't been exposed to this advertising wrinkle before.  I should have expressed myself more carefully. 

 

Mike

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post #11 of 23

I guess that rolling eyes emoticon threw me off. :)

post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by matchabunny View Post
 

I took the (free!) Science and Gastronomy class through the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology offered via Coursera and found it interesting. I and many of my classmates have also enrolled in the upcoming edX class through Harvard and I'm really looking forward to it!

 

 

Thanks for starting this thread MikeLM, it's really interesting.

 

@matchabunny, I have also signed up for that course. It does sound good, lets hope it is!

 

Goldi

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Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness

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post #13 of 23

Has anyone started the Harvard edX course 'Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science' which went live 8th Oct? Hoping I'm not the only one who's finding the molecular equations tough to get your head around as a non-scientist...

 

Goldi

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post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldilocks View Post
 

Has anyone started the Harvard edX course 'Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science' which went live 8th Oct? Hoping I'm not the only one who's finding the molecular equations tough to get your head around as a non-scientist...

 

Goldi

 

I joined... yesterday under the name "Flandria". It's a lot of science, I have to see where it gets me, as to be honest, I watched the fat/carb/protein video. Interesting no doubt but it got me extremely bored. I'm giving it another chance. It may get very interesting for people who want to go into molecular cooking.

Just in case others need info; https://www.edx.org/course/harvard-university/spu27x/science-cooking-haute-cuisine/639

One seriously convincing hint; it's... free!

post #15 of 23

Also check out Stella Culinary School on iTunes.  Jacob Burton is the chef who put these together.  Nice collection of lessons.  He runs a site with discussion forum too but seems to have gone into a hiatus.

post #16 of 23

Yep i joined edx , lets see if its any good , usually when its free , i have my doubts , but then agian its free XD. 

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post #17 of 23

So after listening to lectures and seeing some of the tasks at hand , im excited....

 

Since i plan on majoring in Food Science XD 

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post #18 of 23

None of them good .On line you get idea but you can't do it wiht your hands and thats what counts . Save your money. Tell me the difference beteen on line and a good illistrated cook book.?

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post
 

None of them good .On line you get idea but you can't do it wiht your hands and thats what counts . Save your money. Tell me the difference beteen on line and a good illistrated cook book.?

I disagree, at least that's not my experience. I spent a lot of money to attend culinary school and I learned more from watching videos on Rouxbe.com and Youtube, and from participating in this forum. I wish I had saved my money by NOT going to school!! 

 

The difference between online and a book is that the book only shows you photographs while online you can watch videos. An online videos allows you to watch, pause, zoom, be really close to the action. In school, you're far away from the teacher, they use mirrors to help you see what they do but that doesn't help much, you're standing, tired, hot in your Chef's clothes, etc, and if you need to go to the restroom or wash your hands and miss a coulpe of key sentences from the lecture you can't pause, rewind and watch again. 

 

Also in school there's that ridiculous "chef" mentality where they make you feel like you don't know anything and you should shut up and listen, which doesn't encourage asking questions. If the "chef" (who's really just a teacher and hasn't been a professional chef for the past 20 years, but asks you to call them "chef") names an ingredient you don't know, you better not ask for fear of ridicule. If you mess up your Agnoloti you get yelled at and if you make a mistake with the ingredients you get yelled at, etc... also in a real school sometimes you just have to sit there for 2 hours listen to a teacher tell you things you already know, while online you can just fast forward or skip. 

 

If you want to understand what it's like to work in pro kitchen, go work in a pro kitchen.

If you want to learn to cook, online schools are a much better, cheaper, more flexible alternative to real schools. 

 

IMO Rouxbe is very good, probably the best. 


Edited by French Fries - 10/11/13 at 8:34am
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaiqueKuisine View Post
 

So after listening to lectures and seeing some of the tasks at hand , im excited....

 

Since i plan on majoring in Food Science XD

 

Sounds like it's prefect for you then!

 

Chris, i really enjoyed Ferran's lecture. I'm QueenBeesKitchen.

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post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
 

Also check out Stella Culinary School on iTunes.  Jacob Burton is the chef who put these together.  Nice collection of lessons.  He runs a site with discussion forum too but seems to have gone into a hiatus.

Thank you for this, I'll check it out.

Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness

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Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness

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post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries View Post

...The difference between online and a book is that the book only shows you photographs while online you can watch videos. An online videos allows you to watch, pause, zoom, be really close to the action. In school, you're far away from the teacher, they use mirrors to help you see what they do but that doesn't help much, you're standing, tired, hot in your Chef's clothes, etc, and if you need to go to the restroom or wash your hands and miss a coulpe of key sentences from the lecture you can't pause, rewind and watch again....

 

Just a foodie here but I thought that I might chime in.  My breadbaking skills after four years of making doorstops really took off and reached new levels (versus some other plateau) once I purchased a CD from KA on artisan breadbaking.  To actually see what's taking place and "how the dough's texture and elasticity should be" transcends however many zillions of words a book might contain.  :cool::smiles::smiles::cool:

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

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post #23 of 23

Another huge difference between an online cooking school and a book is that you can't ask questions to the author of a book, but you can ask questions to your teachers in an online school. 

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