What do you think of when you think of the kitchen? A place where food is stored and prepared? A room filled with delicious smells and yummy foods to make your mouth water?
Surprise! The kitchen is a great place to learn all sorts of information and skills that go way beyond just learning how to cook! And just in time for Culinary Arts Month, we're heading to the kitchen to explore more!
Cooking is About More Than Just Food!
You find a recipe that sounds tasty. You want to try it out. Learning how to make a recipe comes from reading and comprehension.
You read through the recipe. (Always a good idea.) The recipe shows a list of ingredients and a set of directions and usually a beautiful image of the finished product.
You go over the list of ingredients, making sure that you have everything you’ll need on hand. Once you gather the ingredients, prep them, and measure them out, you follow the recipe step by step until you have your finished dish.
Comprehension means that you understand the recipe. The more you explore in the kitchen, the better you understand how everything goes together, what certain culinary words mean, and what to expect each step of the way. And it’s pretty amazing when you try something new and it ends up being delicious!
Math and science are a part of cooking and baking, too.
You must measure the ingredients and use fractions and whole numbers. Sometimes you even need to adjust a recipe to suit your needs.
Suppose you want to make something and the recipe says it’s for 4 people, but you need to make enough for 6 people. How do you figure that out? Do the math to make enough for one and a half of the recipes.
That works both ways, too! You can reduce a recipe using math.
The science of cooking is like experimenting. Chemistry plays a part as you learn how things can combine, especially in baking.
Take for example flour, cocoa powder, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and a little baking powder and salt. You wouldn’t eat most of those ingredients by themselves. But measure them out, mix them together, and add some heat? Now you have a pan of brownies! Yum!
You can even study the history and geography of your food! Find out where the ingredients originate and learn more about the region. Our kits offer information on all subjects! These lessons work great in a homeschool setting, too!
Other important factors involved in cooking include
- nutrition and learning what foods are good for your body and why.
- safety around the stove.
- skills such as learning how to safely use and handle knives and mixers and blenders.
Eat 2 Explore!
You can learn about different cultures and the kinds of food people around the world eat. You can learn about the history of different foods, where they come from, or how dishes are created.
Since 2002, July has been the month to celebrate National Culinary Arts Month.
What Are Culinary Arts?
Culinary arts are what people like chefs and sous chefs study, such as the preparation, cooking, and presentation of food. Entire schools exist to teach these skills.
The chef of a kitchen is responsible for the operation of the kitchen in places like restaurants, hotels, and cruise ships. They create new recipes, plan menus, and supervise the whole kitchen staff. It’s a pretty big job!
Which is why the chef will have people that assist him or her. Those people are called sous-chefs.
The term “sous-chef” is French and means “under the chef of the kitchen.” This is the person who is “second in command.” They have a lot of responsibility in the kitchen, too. A sous-chef will help in the day-to-day operations of a kitchen. They help prepare the food and make sure things are running smoothly.
They can have just as much responsibility in a kitchen as the head chef!
Both the chef and the sous-chef have a part in making sure the food not only tastes delicious but looks amazing.
Other members of the kitchen staff can include prep-chefs, chefs for each station who fry, bake, grill, and saute the foods, chefs who make pastries, and creative people who decorate dishes to make them as lovely to look at as they taste.
Celebrating Culinary Arts Month at Home
Celebrating culinary arts isn’t just about the people creating five-star dishes though. It’s also about the magic that happens in your own kitchen.
Learning how to cook is a skill that stays with you forever! If you want to explore the art of cooking, eat2explore is a great place to start.
Every recipe card that’s included comes with detailed instructions on how to prepare dishes from all over the globe. Easy-peasy, so that every kid can whip up a culinary masterpiece!