Last January, I mentioned that I enrolled myself in culinary school in Enderun Extension in this post here. So for all my Saturday mornings this March and April, I spent my mornings at Enderun Campus in Fort Bonifacio, learning the technical basics of cooking through their Fundamentals Course.
The school facilities were great, with very well-equipped kitchens and endless coffee, iced tea and snacks set out for the students (Like most people, I love anything free! Hehehe). Also, there were only 10 of us per class which was ideal since the instructors had enough time to go around, check on our individual progress, and answer all our questions.
Here’s some of what was included in the fundamentals course just in case any of you are interested in this class. :-)
During the first session, we practiced basic knife skills and learned how to make the different cuts like brunoise, julienne, paysanne, etc.
Aside from the facilities and the very knowledgeable instructors, what I really enjoyed about the course is that although we were only supposed to learn technical skills with no actual cooking, the instructors made sure to show us how to turn the raw ingredients into something yummy every week. For the knife skills with vegetables, we had a delicious ratatouille that I’ve recreated at home several times.
We had a potato and leek soup during the session that taught us to turn vegetables. Turning vegetables is purely decorative, we pared down potatoes into football shapes and make miniature carrots from full sized ones. So next time you see those miniature vegetables that you see on the side of your main dish when you order stuff in fancy restaurants remember that a heck of a lot of work goes into it! I now have a new found appreciation for garnishes.
The other sessions taught us to truss and break down chickens, and prepare fish fillets, lamb chops, pork loin and tenderloin steaks.
I cook at home quite a lot so there wasn’t really anything very new to me, but it nice to know the “proper” way to do things and get to improve on my rather haphazard way of getting things done (although it’s worked for me so far!). :)
It was a fun way to spend a few Saturdays, and I would definitely enroll in the intermediate course should it become available. I recommend the course for beginners who want to learn how to cook and for serious home cooks who want to fine tune their skills. :)