A Professional Career in Culinary Arts and Cooking Industry Can Become Your Lucky Chance to Win an Attractive and Rewarding Job!
Carol Ann C.
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Do you Know what the Culinary Arts are About?
Can cooking be considered as a form of culinary art? In other words, do the culinary arts include the cooking as its integral and fully fledged component? Well, let us look at the definitions of those terms: culinary arts, cooking and culinary arts career.
What are the culinary arts actually about? In its essence those terms mean the art of preparing meals from raw food components, in simple words, culinary arts are about cooking! By cooking food a specialist in the culinary arts makes meals and dishes, which are meant for other people to be eaten. And this exactly what any culinary arts career is about!
The professional field of culinary arts industry includes various, sometimes very different categories. Some of those categories are related to cooking tools, utensils, gadgets and methods of food processing. Other categories of culinary arts are more related to combinations of spices and ingredients. Adding a unique flavor to the ordinary food stuffs is considered one of the great specifities of the art of cooking. Also a real professional in the culinary arts should be very versatile and knowing with such skills as making right measurements of the ingredients, their correct selection and accurate combination. These conditions are of critical importance for the process of getting the desired result, in the end, and are the real touchstone for testing the professional appropriateness of any chef who is worth his salt!
And, naturally, it should not be forgotten that diversity of the world cultures and traditions in the different countries of the world leads to the exciting and agreeable diversity of different national cuisines. The diversity of national cultures happens to be mirrored by the national systems of culinary arts, cooking and professional skills of those who take up a career in this industry. Basically, this diversity is based on several notions, such as economy, aesthetics, and nutritional value of the food stuffs, religious and cultural implications.
If we look at the culinary arts of cooking food in terms of its historical sequence, then we will be able to discover the very origins of this industry at the dawn of mankind, when the fire was discovered and became an essential integral part of the human civilization - see AACSB accredited schools.
The culinary arts are very difficult to imagine without the discovery of fire and processing of raw food materials with the help of fire (the heat treatment). This led to discovery of such cooking methods as baking and boiling, which are considered the most basic methods of culinary arts technology. Though, it must be noted that the cooking technology is not associated with heat treatment in all cases. Nevertheless, it was exactly the heat produced by open fire, which was necessary for preparation of raw food stuffs, introducing modifications into their texture, composition, and flavor, considerably enhancing the nutritional properties of raw food components, and making attractive changes even to the exterior of the cooked food. Another important feature of the heat treatment, whether it was baking or boiling, was the disinfection of the raw food ingredients and making them much softer and gustable! The importance of such food processing for the development of culinary arts, cooking and culinary arts professions cannot be overestimated. The second importance of the heat treatment was that the bacteria found in the food or even those that were transferred on it can grow and flourish in the temperature range between 4 to 60 degrees Celsius. Within such favorable conditions the bacteria are capable of growing twice within as short period of time as twenty minutes. This temperature range is often called "the food hazard zone". Even the refrigeration of the food stuffs does not kill all the microorganisms in them. It only slows their growth. As soon as the food is unfrozen they readily pick up their expansion. The proper heat treatment makes the food safe for ingestion, since it actually kills the potentially harmful microorganisms by high temperature.
One of the first methods of heat treatment developed by the early culinary arts adepts was BAKING.
Baking is considered by many culinary arts and cooking experts as the most well-known method of the culinary arts. Basically it implies the usage of a special heating device called oven, in which the raw food stuffs are usually baked. The advantage of an oven is the possibility to treat the food stuffs with dry heat, which is evenly applied through the oven and onto the food. Without baking it would be impossible to prepare such pastry based things as pies, tarts and cakes. Under the influence of evenly distributed dry heat in the oven the starch in the raw materials begins to gelatinize and, as the result, adds that appetizing brownish appearance and palatable flavor to the baked goodies. Another chemical reaction, known as Maillard reaction, also adds to the browning of the baked things because of the sugar caramelizing and the reduction of sugar and the amino acids. The brownish (sometimes even charred) crust partly seals the moisture of the food inside and adds that wonderful flavor and smell to freshly baked dough products! On the other hand, it should be remembered that moisture cannot be kept inside the baked food for a long time and the baked goods inevitably became dryer and dryer, they became stale, alas! So, as you see, the present-day culinary arts would be absolutely impossible to imagine without the developing of various baking methods of cooking. Though, it must be noted that baking is not the only widely spread technology of food preparation. May be not less well-know than the baking is the boiling.
Probably, BOILING was invented not as early as baking, but, still, it is one of the most basic and ancient methods of food preparation.
That is true, that the boiling is considered by the majority of culinary arts and cooking professional as another very important method of processing the raw food ingredients. The boiling process is based on the rapid vaporization under the influence of heat of any liquid in which the food is prepared. Culinary arts include several categories of cooking by boiling. One of the most common boiling methods is called blanching. This process includes the immersion of raw food components into the boiling water or some other liquid for a certain, strictly determined period of time. Upon that predetermined time the boiled ingredients should be removed out of the boiling liquid and again immersed into cold water. Another method of blanching is when the water is let to run over the boiled product, which leads to its firming.
The usage of closed vessels for cooking by boiling method makes possible so called pressure cooking. The closed cooking utility limits the admission of outer air inside of the vessel (a pressurized pot) as well as prevents its coming out of it. The whole idea of the pressure cooking is to make the preparation of food products by boiling method much faster in comparison with open cooking utensils.
But it should not be forgotten that besides pressure cooking (which actually speeds up the pace of cooking) there is another very popular method in the arsenal of culinary arts - it is stewing. Basically, the stewing implies cutting and slicing of the meat and some vegetables into rather small pieces and slices. Afterwards the components are immersed into a boiling liquid and simmered in it till they are ready. The impact produced by the invention and development of stewing on the development of cooking arts was one of the most critical; there is no denying the fact.
One of the sub-methods of the boiling cooking technique is simmering. In this case the liquid is kept barely below its boiling point. The braising, steaming, infusions, poaching, double steaming, steeping and vacuum flask cooking - all those culinary arts methods were also developed on the base of the boiling technique.
Besides the most basic cooking techniques, the baking and the boiling, which were described above, there are some others. For instance nowadays, in many nations and countries of the world, including the United States of America, such methods as microwaving and grilling have come to be very popular and common ways of preparing food. The advantage of microwaving is that this method of food preparation is, probably, one of the easiest and simplest. Really, what can be simpler than putting the food into the microwave oven, setting up the power and time, and switching the gadget on! This technique is usually used for reheating of already-prepared meals before they can be consumed.
As far as grilling is concerned, its popularity can be easily proved by the presence of grill equipment in the backyard of the majority of the Untied States homes. In fact grilling is a part of roasting cooking technique. Besides grilling, the roasting method includes such variations as barbecuing, searing and rotisserie. The methods of preparing food products by smoking and salting are not very common nowadays.