If you’ve read this blog at all on Pickens Technical College’s website (which is where you are now, probably) you know that PTC offers top-notch occupational training and education for students who want to get into their dream career. Students interested in media and communication, human services, the healthcare system, transportation, engineering and more can get the education they need through hands-on training and classroom instruction to prepare them for work in their chosen field.
One common request that many students at PTC have made is that there should be a culinary program. More students than ever are getting interested in becoming a professional chef or cook thanks to the rise of culinary shows and their parents keeping HGTV and Food Network on their television sets constantly at home. Personally, I think the rise in attention on world-class chefs on their sometimes-hokey television shows is a good thing. By highlighting the skills and the lives of people like Anthony Bourdain, more young people around the United States are discovering their own talent in the kitchen and are beginning to think of culinary as a viable, even fun career. (It’s too late for me to discover any talent whatsoever in the kitchen).
The desire in many more young people than ever to get into professional culinary has led to a demand for more occupational training and education in cooking. And of course, PTC is here to satisfy this demand with a new culinary program. This new program will feature instruction by a highly experienced and skilled chef on the foundations of cooking and how to make it in the increasingly competitive world of professional chefs. Here are a few of these foundations you can expect to learn all about in this new professional culinary class at PTC:
- Mise en place. Likely the first lesson you’ll learn in culinary class, this French phrase (there are many such phrases in culinary studies—the French like to cook) translates to “everything in place.” This is essentially the due diligence you’ll have to perform as a chef: organization of equipment, gathering of the right ingredients, preparing all ingredients, portioning, etc.
- Mirepoix. This French phrase refers to the basic elements of most stocks, sauces, and flavorings… for everything. It’s a simple foundation for many dishes in French cuisine and used by chefs all over the world. Mirepoix (meer-pwa) consists of 25% carrot, 25% celery, and 50% onion. I may have just given away the first week of instruction. That’s why I’m not a professor at PTC.
- Foundational flavors. The foundational flavors of culinary are like the Primary Colors of the culinary world. Similar to different colors complimenting each other, different foundational flavors typically go well with each other in different combinations. At PTC’s new culinary program, you’ll learn which flavors go with which and how to bring them out artistically in different dishes.
If you want to be a professional chef or cook, start with a professional culinary class taught at PTC. Look for new class offerings in the coming semesters on PTC’s website to learn more.