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Creating a Cooking Club Curricula

a
ApprenticeGourmet Aug 26, 2010 05:45 PM

I'm just about to enter my senior year of high school, and I have noticed a severe lack of cooking skills amongst my peers. To remedy this I am creating a cooking club to teach people the basics of cooking.

So I come to you, oh wise chowhounders, to help me refine my "lesson plan". My plan is to do most of the cooking outside of school but discuss choosing ingredients/knife skills/other tasks that don't immediately require food in school. Here is my current lesson plan (or order in which I will cover them).

1) Grains (rice, quinoa, pasta, couscous)
2) Vegetables
Roasting
Sauteing/caramelizing
Steaming
Potatoes
3) Salads
Vinaigrettes
Pairing ingredients
4) Chicken
Sauteing
Grilling
Roasting
5) Sauces and Marinades
6) Baking
Quickbreads
Cookies
Cakes
Pies
Bread
7) Meat
Roasting
Braising
Grilling
8) Seafood
Grilling
Sauteing
Baking

  1. a
    ApprenticeGourmet Aug 29, 2010 02:08 PM

    Does anyone have experience doing this? I'd love to hear from some people who know what this entails...

    1. d
      DMW Aug 27, 2010 09:57 AM

      This is awesome!

      I would also suggest some instruction on how to purchase produce and foodstuffs -- what to look for in terms of quality and freshness. Don't mean to sound snotty here, but I can't believe how many people I see at the store who buy produce without so much as giving it a once over (to check for bruises, mold, etc.) or a smell (is appropriate).

      I know this isn't directly related to the actual cooking, but good inputs are necessary for good output.

      Good luck!

      1. a
        ApprenticeGourmet Aug 27, 2010 09:38 AM

        Thanks! Yeah, I really want to get them "hooked" by making something that they can eat pretty quickly. At school I'll do food safety and knife skills (without actual knives, though; they're not allowed at campus). We'll probably go to farmer's markets on weekends so they get to see where their food comes from and how to pick out the best stuff.

        1. corneygirl Aug 26, 2010 09:37 PM

          I think your list is great especially paired with the previous food safety and knife skills lessons. I would try to include methods to make things that are popular with the people who join. If everyone loves pizza, maybe make pizzas and discuss different things that could go on (traditional, thai chicken, white etc). If they love sushi try califorinia rolls or something. Sounds like fun, good luck!

          1. Hank Hanover Aug 26, 2010 09:30 PM

            !st, I agree with Cheryl about the safety and basic knife skills lesson being very early. Your school will probably demand it.
            After that, if they will tolerate the book learning and study. Teach the cooking methods and techniques and when they are used and on what foods.

            Wet Methods

            Boiling
            Blanching
            Poaching
            Braising
            Stewing
            Steaming
            Simmering

            Dry Methods
            Searing
            Sauteing
            Pan frying
            Roasting
            Baking
            Deep frying
            Stir frying
            Hot smoking

            After that Stocks, Soups, Sauces and Grains in that order.

            In general, this is the order it is covered in culinary school.

            Unfortunately, you may need to jump into cooking something before all that gets done to hold their attention. It sure would be nice if they knew those cooking techniques in theory before they started cooking much.

            There are knife skills videos out there and onions and potatoes are cheap to practice with so you might start with that if you are going to have to do that you might as well start by sweating some onions and sauteing some diced potatoes. Caramelizing onions would be good too.

            Wow. if you could get them that far quickly, they really would know quite a bit and have a great foundation.

            1. Cherylptw Aug 26, 2010 05:55 PM

              Don't forget food safety & knife skills which should be the first things you teach

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