What Will Tomorrows Chefs Learn in Chef College?


Chef college is calling me…again! I’m on the same campus that inspired me to become a chef, but now I’m the one doing the teaching. Call me “Professor” if you’d like, but the correct response in this school is “Yes, Chef”! I’ve returned to my alma mater in Baltimore to help shape the minds and skills of tomorrow’s next great chefs.

Discover what tomorrow’s great chefs are learning in my classroom by subscribing to the RSS feed for my blog, or “LIKE” me on facebook and you’ll get the latest class notes. I’ll be reporting from the culinary lab each week with the actual lesson plan that my students experience.

The Chef College has entrusted me to help prepare these students for a career in the culinary arts. I think it’s the most noble of professions and worth the commitment it takes to graduate from a chef college that can make you immediately employable or entrepreneurial.

My class is “Elements of Entrée Production”. The class studies basic cooking methods as they apply to a commercial foodservice operation. This instruction runs in tandem with the class across the hall, “Elements of Hospitality Service”, which studies different service styles in restaurants and banquet halls.

My students will prepare food using one of the basic cooking methods each week. The Hospitality class will serve invited guests and the general public in a certain style of service. For example, my class will prepare a menu using the saute method and it will be served “family style”, where large platters are shared by the table.

The following week may be grilling method and we’ll design a menu of grilled items to be served in the dining room “a la carte”, like a restaurant where a waiter supplies an order to the kitchen. Then, it might be food that is braised paired with French tableside service.

I call it “welcome to the real world” because it’s not about culinary theory, it’s about actually producing quality food under the time pressures of a commercial kitchen.

The new semester is just starting, but I wanted to invite you to peek into my classroom and look forward to the coming series of videos and blog posts that will share the many professional level techniques and methods that my students are learning, so that you might bring them into your own home.

You can save the tuition of chef college and still get the benefits by subscribing to the RSS feed, or LIKE-ing me on facebook. Wait! I think the bell just rang. Don’t be late, and don’t forget your knives. “Yes, Chef”!

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About Chef Todd

Chef Todd Mohr is a Certified Culinary Educator who has empowered home cooks all over the world with the reliable, dependable, repeatable METHODS behind cooking that build confidence, generate creativity and enable anyone to cook with the ingredients THEY desire.

2 Comments

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  • cheftodd
    cheftodd
    3:24 PM - 30 March, 2012

    Hey Patte!
    I was actually sitting with the Dean of Stratford University when I saw your question, so I posed it to him. We both agree that you probably are not hitting the sensor area of your thermometer with a thin product. Most instant read thermometers have a small dot or indentation on the stem, or are tapered slightly at the point at which it reads the temperature. This is never at the ultimate point of the stem, rather a quarter-inch up.

    The likelihood is that you are taking the temperature of the thinner items and the tip of the thermometer is hitting the bottom of the pan, but the actual sensor of the thermometer is above the item being cooked.

    It is always best to take final temperature at the thickest part of the thickest piece of food you are cooking. This way, anything smaller or thinner is logically at least that temperature. With thin items, it's best to remove the item from the pan and insert the thermometer into the SIDE of the item, horizontally.

    This way, you get an internal reading and you don't leave an obvious hole in the presentation side of the item. Try it sideways and tell me if your thermometer is working any better.

    There are no dumb questions, only the people afraid to ask. Thank you for an excellent question.
    Chef Todd.

  • Patte Monaco
    Patte Monaco
    10:04 PM - 28 March, 2012

    Burning question - hope it's not too basic (dumb). My instant read thermometer works wonderfully in a 7 pound roast, but is woefully inaccurate when I'm sauteeing ONE chicken breast or pork chop! It always reads really low, when in fact the meat is WAY overdone by the time I figure it out. BTW, I can't tell yow how much your classes have helped me - and I've been "cooking" for 50 years!

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