culinary basics

Our Pro Culinary Diploma Program starts out with foundational skills that every student needs in order to learn advanced techniques. We begin with knife skills, kitchen etiquette and food safety, and the basics of working in a professional kitchen. From there we get into working with vegetables, seasoning with salt, and balancing flavors. We work our way through fundamental techniques, like sauces, soups, grain cookery, and finish the level with plant-based cooking, which is becoming even more popular in modern kitchens.

Wk1: Knife Skills & Vegetable Cookery

  • Using proper grip, motion, and technique to execute accurate knife cuts consistently
  • Working efficiently in a kitchen, with emphasis on cleanliness, organization, and speed
  • Understanding vegetable pigments and how to use heat control and acids for ideal outcomes
  • Dry heat vegetable cooking methods: sauteing, roasting, and grilling
  • Moist heat vegetable cooking methods: steaming and blanching

Wk2: Salads & Dressings

  • Execution of balanced dressings, including permanent and temporary emulsions
  • Identification and handling of lettuces
  • Understanding the role of garnishes to add texture, flavor, and moisture to salads
  • Knife cuts, including supreme, dice, and julienne
  • Assembly and griddling of a hot sandwich 

Wk3: Soups

  • Fundamentals of broths, purees, and starch-thickened soups
  • Flavor dynamics and textural balance using garnish ingredients
  • Pureeing and straining techniques for smooth soups
  • How to work with chlorophyll to create a bright green soup
  • Proper handling and cooking of fresh clams for chowder

Wk4: Grains & Legumes 

  • Identification and anatomy of the whole grain
  • Ratios and techniques for cooking grains
  • Steaming, boiling, pilaf, and risotto methods for grain cookery
  • Identification and uses of common grains

Wk5: Plant-Based Cooking

  • Understanding nutrition in the vegan diet
  • Preparing and cooking tempeh and various types of tofu
  • Pre-hydrating and braising dry beans
  • Vegan alternatives to popular animal-based recipes
  • Introduction to fresh pasta making 

Wk6: Review & Exit Exam