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Culinary School Problems

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Okay guys, I'm in a cohort class filled with older people and a few odd ball culinary students. I'm 18. I'm mean. I was born in a dishpit. I like fast. The people in my class aren't fast. Now I understand they're learning and whatnot but what way could I encourage them to speed up a little bit without sounding like a tool?
post #2 of 9

Basically I would focus on myself, my attitude, and improving my skills because while the other students are "learning and whatnot", they might pass me by.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #3 of 9

I agree with ChefLayne. Who said it is your job to encourage them to do anything? You are a student, right? They are learning and whatnot. So are you. Focus on yourself. 

post #4 of 9

I'm not going to say anything to anyone about cooking slow when everyone is learning, however when it comes time for clean up sometimes I feel the need to encourage people to get a move on it. Luckily my fellow students are pretty motivated and don't get offended when I say that. In general though, I agree with the above posters. It's up to the instructors to ulitmately motivate and get them faster. When you are working in groups it can be frustrating, just try and be patient. If someone needs help because they are slower and you have some free time why not help them out, you are all team mates right? But don't spend so much time on coaching another student, you pay big money for your education not someone elses. 

post #5 of 9

I'm about the opposite, 46 years old in a class of teen-age numbskulls. And I'm military, and have children of my own older than most of my classmates. All they want to do is sing and dance and rub all over each other, and go on break, and take selfies, and texting, and watch youtube while the chef is out of the room.  (And not wash their hands after playing with their cellphones, which still infuriates me.)

I tried helping them, even took a "Teaching Assistant" position, and volunteered countless hours trying to tutor, and keeping a kitchen/lab open. Nobody wanted help until the day before mid-term and again for finals, and then all they wanted was the answers to the test questions. Or just came in to the lab cook themselves some eggs & bacon, or fried chicken or hamburgers to eat. Ended up just resigning and devoting my time and efforts to maintaining my 4.0 GPA and doing a few really cool internships outside of school.

The simplest advice is take advantage of every learning opportunity, and extract as much practical experience out of your chef/instructors that you can while you are there. I found that without exception every chef at my school was delighted to show me more advanced techniques and procedures, as long as it did not interfere with teaching the core curriculum to the rest of the class.

Personal safety and food safety always first, then good technique, speed will come eventually (or not).

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. I hope I didn't sound arrogant. I'm nothing special at all. I just needed some help. I love my class a lot. They're all good people. And now looking back I was just kind of being a tool.
post #7 of 9
I have seen and taught all levels since moving to the teaching side. Our industry is suffering from the celebrity chef hangover right now. Too much TV time and too many people thinking they are going to make it rich as chefs (LOL) 'cause they are going to be on TV!!!

Try getting yourself into a working group with similar skill sets, focus on your work amd skill improvement. Don't get dragged into the blame game BS that I have seen of this guy is not pulling the load or that guy is riding my coat tails.

We as instructors are watching how everyone works. I moved to the teaching side after 24 years working the grind, so slackers in a class of 16 have trouble hiding.
post #8 of 9

I am one of the slower kids in class. However there is somebody els in my class this much like you, fast, talented, and executes very well. Him and I are friends because I look to him as a challenge I am always trying to out plate, out work, and out cook him. And he knows it and he works harder because of it. However he knows much more than me I can still go to him for advice and help. So I would recommend as silently challenging other students because the ones who care will know you are ahead of them and want to out do you. And if they need help be more than willing to lend a hand. 

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”- Julia Child 
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“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”- Julia Child 
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post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by theculinarykid View Post
 

I am one of the slower kids in class. However there is somebody els in my class this much like you, fast, talented, and executes very well. Him and I are friends because I look to him as a challenge I am always trying to out plate, out work, and out cook him. And he knows it and he works harder because of it. However he knows much more than me I can still go to him for advice and help. So I would recommend as silently challenging other students because the ones who care will know you are ahead of them and want to out do you. And if they need help be more than willing to lend a hand. 

 

good attitude; My favorite people in my lab classes were the ones that wanted to challenge me. One in particular was a natural at plating and was super detailed oriented. So when ever I had a class with her we would end each class with a plate off and make the instructor be the judge. Made my day a lot more entertaining. 

 

As for the thread starter; you get what you put in for anything so just work your ass off and dont take it for granted. If you try to police people and act like you are the more experienced person they will think of you like a tool. I decided to attend school after working various jobs in the industry for four years. My chef at the job I held at the time laughed at me quite a bit for going to school but it was something I wanted to do. When I was in class I focused on basics and having fun with the food. I took every chance I got to do anything that I wouldn't normally do in the restaurant I worked in. I also tried my best to not police people and make friends; because well most of them may never work in a great restaurant some will do some great things so it is a great chance to just meet new people who may have a common goal.

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