Culinary Arts I

Hi Class,

Here is the link to the food poems to review. Please read through them and pick you favourite. Be ready to share which poem is your favorite this week in class. On our page, comment on your favorite poem and why it resonates with you. Does it bring back memories of childhood, a special experience?

http://www.saveur.com/article/blog/A-Feast-for-Bards-13-Favorite-Food-Poems

Is the Chef’s work at the restaurant ‘Alinea’ food as art? How? After watching the clip write a 1 paragraph response.Thanks!

This page is dedicated to Professor Garcelon’s Culinary Arts I HGMT 1203 course. To access the class website, log into Blackboard via the CUNY Portal.

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21 thoughts on “Culinary Arts I

  1. From the outside looking in, things always seem different than they are.I never thought how hard is working in the kitchen .After I saw the video “24 hours at Alinea” ,I realized that it’s pretty hard. A lot pressure and task to do in few hours. Cooks and workers have to put a lot of effort. I think that , team work is really important in that kind of business. It has a lot of advantages. As we could see in the video “24 hours at Alinea “, team work is more efficient than individual .People can share duties ,task ,ideas and also divide work and increase productivity. When team work together and everybody has own task everything is under control.Organization is difficult but really helpful.Hopefully our team in Professor Garcelon’s class is gonna work together as an effective team for the rest of the semester.

  2. It is amazing to see how effective team work can be in a kitchens environment. It truly is what holds everything together. If you have a team of eager dedicated hard working people that are passionate about what they do then everything will run smoothly and efficiently. Challenge yourself everyday at your craft and always leave room for mistakes becasue you learn from them.

    • I love that you included the themes of challenging yourself and making mistakes. Mistakes can be valuable for learning. Most cooks never really intend to make a mistake but when mistakes occur there can be value when the cook learns from the experience! Great post Jorge!

  3. Working in the kitchen takes a group of dedicated people to make a lasting impression. I noticed that everyone works together and everyone knows what role they play. I recently started working and I see some of the similarities as far as what roles we have for the day and keeping the place clean and organized. It’s really important to keep organized for the next person who will be occupying that area next. In this video, you see everyone working and showing up early to prep the food and as a culinary student I can understand their dedication and excitement. People eat with their eyes first, so it is important to plate the food in a way that looks clean, simple and appealing. I see a lot of similarities between this video and the things we do in class. It makes me feel a bit more comfortable because although we are culinary students we are not that far off. The things we lack but are learning are the skills and the knowledge of flavors. I hope to have an experience similar to this restaurant one day.

    • Thank you Ana. I found it interesting that you mention ‘creating a lasting impression’. The dedication and hard work required to do that can be a challenging thing. Creating a lasting impression I think is a part of what makes us artists in a sense!

  4. After watching this inspiring video I was most amazed by the excellent plate presentation. The way they made every plate look exactly the same but so creative at the same time really shows the attachment the staff has to their work . This video changed my whole view on food as art because the same way an excellent artist takes his time painting his work so did these artistes making food into a masterpiece . What really caught my eye was how unique the food was. I don’t think I can name one of those dishes and that shows how creative and great Aliena really is.

    • Great observations Anthony and yes, your comments on the dishes plated the same but each dish being unique is an important skill. Consistency is important when plating multiple items of the same dish. Thanks for your post.

  5. It’s very impressive to see how a real kitchen work and how different it is from what I expect. This video show me that if you work in a restaurant to have to as team because everyone need from others to delivery to the customer a great food and presentation. But also, those team worker have to show that they are very interest about the job and show it in the plate. It’s hard working there and also long hours but help you to improve your skills.

  6. After watching the video, I noticed the back of the house was clean, dutiful, attentive, and organized . Everyone had a job to do and did their respectful job and in that way, as a team they got the kitchen clean. I find food as art to be fascinating yet complex. To alter food in the way that they did is so futuristic and looked almost ahead of our time. I may look pleasing to some, but to me, it was torture. Some of those dishes were delicate and minuscule! How can anyone possibly be satisfied after eating whatever was being served at 2:30?

    • Some interesting thoughts Cheyenne! I personally appreciate your mention of ‘respect’. I love working in an environment where there is a complete respect for the food (and the growers/producers). Respect too for each other as we work together.

  7. After watching this video, I realized just how important it is to have a team. It is very easy to say that things can be done without the help of others, which is somewhat true, but it can never be as well done as it will with the help of your teammates. The workers at Alinea prove this point. Thoughout the work day, all kitchen workers put in great effort to help each other and to maintain a steady flow. It’s important for all workers to work like this and if they remain focused and dedicated, there’s no doubt every day will be a successful one.

    • Great observations on teamwork here Vanessa. After reading your post I tried to think of any position in a restaurant that might not require or benefit from the help of others and I could not think of one!!

  8. 24 hours in Aliena in 3 minutes is amazing. They start there day bright and early in the morning , and finishing late.This video shows the way a restaurant should be ran. They had proper technique in all of there preparations for cooking, and the plating was beautiful.Every plate looked exactly the same, each portion size was exactly the same , and that takes a lot of skill and team work. They worked well as a team cleaning after completing their shift, and that is what is needed to run a successful business. Everyone knew their job.

    • Some great observations here Kendijah! Most often in a successful kitchen environment there is a lot of focus and everyone has an important role to play. Even though there is a hierarchy a successful restaurant values each team member!

  9. In a matter of just 3 minutes, I was able to see a daily routine in Aliena. It’s quite astonishing that although it appears that service begins during dinner hours, the amount of preparation requires multiple and multiple hours. One must rise and shine early in the morning to prepare a meal that will be served for dinner. And as if that wasn’t enough, the cleaning requires one to stay until the following morning. A life in the kitchen isn’t a simple one. One must have that desire within them to sacrifice that many hours to produce a beautiful platter that will be devoured in minutes. One must realize that it’s the satisfaction you receive from the customer that pushes you to wake up early and close late. A restaurant as such is successful because of the teamwork that these talented cooks partake in.

    • Adriana yes you are right – in most cases the life in the kitchen requires dedication. In my opinion a successful chef does seek customer ‘happiness’ and can strive for this in a number of ways such as ‘hot foot on a nice warm plate; beautiful colors, texture and taste’. That’s just the tip of the ‘ice-berg’ too – the serving experience; all the fine details come into play and these are all tools a hospitality professional can use to strive for and maintain customer satisfaction. Thanks!

  10. While i was watching this video what really struck me was how fluid everything was. Their team work was obvious because you could see no one was asking where to be or what to do. They all knew their role and did exactly what was expected. Also the food itself was extraordinary it wasn’t the normal meat starch vegetable routine that people can sometimes get into, the chefs here were really using their imaginations to come up with these recipes

    • I really like that you mention ‘imagination’ Phillip. When creating artistic plates of food a chef must use their imagination. Before that though must come a solid base of culinary skill – the foundation. When the foundation is there, the imagination and creative freedom can be more fully realized. Well done!!

  11. I liked the poem “Da Capo” written by Jane Hirshfield because it has an interesting meaning to it. Jane encourages someone who’s thrown their old heart out to start from the beginning. She provides a list of instructions step by step for a renewal. She advises one to start from the basic ingredients like carrots, celery and onions. Creamy goat cheese and fresh parsley, to me, is all about simplicity and comfort. The whole preparation of the dish is some sort of healing process.

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