Current Culinary Curriculum

Discussion in 'General Culinary School Discussions' started by greg, Mar 6, 2001.

  1. greg

    greg

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    Looking back on my post-culinary school career, I've seen some holes in my education. Specifically, computers, people-managing techniques, job interview skills (from both the hiring and trying to be hired sides) and maybe some instruction in stress management.
    So, how are schools doing now? Do any of you current (or past) students have or had classes that address these areas?
    I was lucky and have been able to figure out computers fairly well and had the privilege to work for a chef here (Pete Metzger, take a bow!) that taught me a lot about the rest. Still, I'm sure others haven't been so fortunate after being thrown out to the wolves like this.
     
  2. lynne

    lynne

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    At BICC they had a one credit optional course which was went through the entire process of writing a resume, searching job ads (we had to pick several), writing coverletters (to those chosen ads), do a follow up phone call (to the course leader-who was the President of the school-so not a teacher you would normally be friendly with), go through an interview process (including follow-up thank you not) and a second interview. It was good practice to go through the steps. It never hurts to have those practice interviews when you are trying to get started either.

    It was also mandatory that we took a Psych Class (which they would not except any outside transfers, so the same book I used for 2 classes (Organizational Behavior) at UNC got a work out there too!You never know when those books are going to be helpful!). After starting the class, I realized why they were so adamant about us taking the class--I saw the book through different eyes. A lot focused on stress and had to deal with it, how to recognize other peoples stress and not let it rub off. We also discussed alcoholism and drug abuse, and how to recognize the signs in ourselves and others.

    It was a good background but still leaves you unprepared for the true dynamics of the kitchen. I will never forget walking into my first job after c. school. Being introduced to my employees (an all union staff) and being told (before I had said anything other than Hi) "Don't think you're going to try and tell me how to do anything--You're just some young white girl--and I've been here 33 years!" My duties--were to teach these folks how to cook heart healthy menus!!! Southern fried foods couldn't be the only way of life (the first meal that was served my first day -- my 60+ year old men were offered their choice of liver and onions (done in the deep fryer) or fried chicken!!

    30 minutes after I arrived, I got to attend my first union-management meeting!!! It was the hardest thing in the world to get up and go back in the next morning!

    But you learn to think on your feet! 2 months later the guy I quoted above called the union board and told them that the union grievence that had been filed against me was a bunch of BS and they needed to give it up! (An unheard of event for a union member to go against another member!)

    So you stick it out, think fast, keep an open mind, know that you don't know everything and things will begin to gel.

    That said, there are some ways to get help. Sylvan learning center does computer classes. CareerTrack (www.etrain.com) offers computer, bookkeeping, hr, management and supervisory classes; some of them are excellent. If you are a woman, they also offer courses on empowerment and issues specific to being in a female supervisory capacity.

    [ March 06, 2001: Message edited by: lynne ]
     
  3. darv

    darv

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    At the school I attend we have the fundamental classes to get a degree(communicaton,psychology ect.)They also use the NRA Pro Management series in the curriculum.With such classes as automated purchasing and cost control,supervision in the hospitality industry ect.The insructors realy push the importance of the management skills needed to being a Chef right along with the culinary techniques.