Culinary education uses science as a base for educational programs
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/02/2012 -- In an effort to prepare the chefs of tomorrow, the famous Culinary Institute of America is teaching more than just solid knife skills and the mastery of recipes, they are teaching the science of food. According to the President of CIA, “The industry, the profession, is so much more complicated,” adding that a chef today needs to much more than one from decades past.
In a recent class at CIA, students learned how to make desserts with liquid nitrogen. Other courses covered topics such as the use of xanthan gum. They also learned the physics behind why oil and water do not mix. This month the school was also approved to introduce a new major in their culinary science program which focuses on both food science and culinary arts.
CIA is not the only school that is putting the focus toward science in their culinary educational programs. The International Culinary Center in New York City now has programs with concentrations in culinary technology. The the main of these classes focus on scientific principles.
The University of Massachusetts at Amherst began offering a concentration in culinary science about five years ago “to meet” the demand from culinary students. Drexel University has offered a bachelor of science in culinary science since 2007.
Additionally, schools such as The Culinary Institute of America are putting the focus on creating programs that encourage students to not just understand and learn techniques but the “why” behind them.
At CIA, as with many culinary schools the traditional response for students has always been “Yes, chef,” now school administrators are encouraging students to as “Why chef?” This is because schools want students to think beyond basics and come up with “hypotheses, test them, and discover the best methods,” according to CIA. This will encourage the development of all of the students’ skills not just their culinary skills making them better and more prepared chefs in the future.
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