A culinary art is an art of preparing foods and a study of cooking on some special menus in an occasion. They also intend to learn baking or pastry making. People who have a passion for food and cooking are good candidates for working in the culinary arts field.
There are many options for people who choose to go into culinary arts. Jobs are available in many places, such as restaurants, catering and banquet halls, schools, hospitals, hotels and more. Positions in the culinary arts all revolve around preparing food, in one aspect or another.
In addition to obvious positions, such as cooks, souse chefs and chefs; other positions in culinary arts are also available. For instance, someone interested in the culinary arts could work in research and development for a large food company, such as Kraft. Another possibility is working as a production chef for a specialty food producer.
However, you need to have good skills in order to be successful in this cooking field. That is why people who are expert on this have undergo rigid training from the cooking equipments, garnishing, cake decorating and until the proper measurements of ingredients. English, math, problem solving, and human relations skills are essential in the program. Ability to read and follow recipes, leadership and team working skills are beneficial also.
You must learn also the fundamentals of the culinary arts, including knife skills, basic cooking methods, making sauces and emulsions, and the essentials of food safety. Here are some important tips and ideas in cooking:
Cooking Methods: Cooking methods in the culinary arts include dry heat methods like sauteing and roasting, and moist heat methods such as steaming and braising.
Season Boldly When we speak of “seasoning,” we’re usually talking about salt. It’s the main seasoning agent in the culinary arts and something many beginning cooks don’t use enough of.
Don’t be afraid to salt aggressively. And by the way, that means Kosher salt, not ordinary table salt. Before grilling meats and roasting poultry, sprinkle on the Kosher salt and see what a difference it makes.
But don’t stop there. When cooking pasta, be sure to salt the pasta water before heating it. Use about a handful of Kosher salt for each six quarts of water – depending on the size of your hands. The same goes for the water you use to boil potatoes for mashed potatoes. The water should taste salty – almost like seawater.
Use Flavorful Cooking Liquids Water doesn’t taste like anything. So using water for steaming vegetables, braising, poaching, or for making soups, means you’re not adding any flavor to the food. Consider using stock, broth or wine instead of water. For instance, substitute vegetable stock for plain water when making rice.
Make It Tangy The palate likes to get a little jolt of acid now and then. Lemon juice, vinegar and wine all contribute acid to a dish, which livens up flavors and helps balance and complement sweet flavors.
When a dish seems to be lacking something and you’ve already seasoned it with salt, sometimes what’s missing is acid. Often just a squeeze of lemon juice is all you’ll need. Alternately, for people who have to follow reduced sodium diets, lemon juice can make up for some of the flavor that’s lost through limiting salt.
Butter It Up Besides salt, butter is probably the single most irreplaceable ingredient in all the culinary arts. Nothing compares to the sublime, creamy flavor and mouth feel of pure butter. And if you think improving your cooking has to mean compromising your health, think again.
First of all, butter substitutes like margarine contain just as much fat as butter. But in addition, as a quick scan of the ingredients listed on that butter substitute product reveals, they also contain an alphabet soup of artificial flavors, emulsifiers, preservatives and other mystery ingredients. If health is my main concern, I’ll take my chances with real butter.
Use Contrasting Textures Imagine biting into a piece of perfectly roasted chicken. The outer skin is deliciously crispy while the meat itself is tender and juicy. The contrast of crispy skin and tender meat are a big part of what makes eating roasted chicken so much fun.
Think about some other ways you can achieve this same effect in a dish like mashed potatoes. Suppose you sauteed some chopped celery and mixed it into the mashed potatoes. That crunch would definitely make those potatoes more exciting (and aromatic, too). Or, if you’re making baked macaroni and cheese, try topping it with some seasoned breadcrumbs before baking. That will add some nice crispiness to contrast with the soft cheese and pasta.
Some Knife Skills: Knife skills are one of the most important parts of the culinary arts. These illustrated examples and tutorials will help you practice your knife skills.
Now that your knife hand knows what to do, we need to make sure your other hand does, too. Your non-knife hand is called your “guiding hand,” and its job is to hold the food to keep it from sliding around on the cutting board. This puts it in a uniquely dangerous position. With the knife blade flying up and down, you need to keep those fingertips tucked safely away, while still being able to firmly hold the food.
The claw grip is keeping the fingers curled inward and gripping the food with the fingernails, the fingers stay out of harm’s way. The side of the knife blade actually rests against the first knuckle of the guiding hand, which helps keep the blade perpendicular to the cutting board. Index finger is wrapped fully around the blade. The index finger and thumb should be opposite each other on either side of the blade while the remaining three fingers are sort of loosely curled around the handle.