A serious dedication to the culinary or pastry arts means committing to a lifelong journey towards mastering the use of professional chef tools.
Like the musician who never stops learning more about her instrument, or the artist who never ends experimenting with his paint brush, a true culinary artist never stops finding new ways of getting more and more out of a basic set of tools.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the toolkits provided to online culinary students and online baking & pastry students at Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, and the ways they begin understanding their proper uses in the kitchen through the online curriculum.
The Escoffier Toolkit for Online Culinary Students
Upon enrolling in one of Escoffier’s online culinary programs, students receive a standard toolkit containing utensils and tools specific to their program, as well as a chef’s uniform. This kit includes everything needed to get started with a professional culinary education from home.
Official Escoffier Uniform
Every Escoffier student receives an official uniform boasting the Escoffier logo. We expect our students to wear this uniform while attending classes as a standard of professionalism.
The uniform set includes a chef’s coat, apron, and a skull cap.
It’s an honor to don the pristine uniform. To learn more about the history and important symbolism of the chef’s uniform, read our article, A Brief History of the Chef’s Uniform.
Included in the toolkit are standard utensils that every online culinary student uses. These are essential for creating exceptional dishes and pastries.
The standard utensil kit offered to students of all programs includes:
- Chlorine test strips
- 3.5” Paring knife
- Digital probe thermometer & timer
- Pastry bag
- 8” Chef’s knife
- Plastic bowl scraper
- Double zip case
Utensils Just for Culinary Arts Students
Due to the different nature of an online culinary arts education, students enrolled in the culinary arts diploma or degree program will receive the following additional utensils:
- Mercer Rules ruler
- 10” German Steel
- High-temp stirring spoon
- Cutlery tube set
- 6” Boning knife
Utensils Just for Pastry Arts Students
Students enrolled in the pastry arts online program require a different set of utensils. The pastry toolkit includes the following unique pieces:
- Bench scraper
- Fine zester
- Decorating tips
- 12” Wavy edge slicer
- Piano wire whip
- Heat-resistant scraper
- Pastry brush
- Pastry tube set
- Flower nail
These tools and utensils allow students to create stunning and decadent pastries following their Chef Instructor’s direction and assignments.
Along with utensils and a uniform, online culinary and pastry arts students can receive a box of starter pantry ingredients. These ingredients include flour, salt, oil, and a variety of spices required for the assigned recipes.
Putting Tools to Use in the Curriculum
So how do students begin to understand how to use their professional chef tools? They practice—a lot!—in their home kitchens, by mimicking as much as possible the way a professional kitchen runs.
The online culinary arts curriculum requires approximately 380 hours of time in the kitchen. Much of that time is spent working with these chef tools.
The Tools of the Trade
“The tools of your trade or the tools of the trade are the skills, instruments, and other equipment that you need in order to do your job properly.” — Collins Dictionary
For example, in the Culinary Foundations course, students have an opportunity to practice basic cooking techniques, including understanding equipment operation, the use and effect of heat, and seasoning principles. This course also includes fundamental knife skills, cutting techniques, and the concept of mise en place.
As students progress through the curriculum, tools are deployed in more advanced ways to create a variety of dishes…here are just a few examples:
- The Culinary Arts and Patisserie course includes preparation of hot and cold hors d’oeuvres.
- The Farm To Table® Experience gives students an opportunity to use local ingredients.
- Exploring other cultures and their dishes is the major premise of the World Cuisines course.
Pastry arts students follow a different curriculum designed to get them plenty of practice with tools specific to their craft. For example, students will have an opportunity to gain an understanding of the proper tools to use for creating tempered chocolate truffles and garnishes in the Confiserie and Frozen Desserts course, or demonstrating an understanding of laminated doughs and puff pastry in the Artisan Baking course.
Escoffier’s Online Platform: The Perfect Way to Start Using Professional Chef Tools Properly
Since professional chef tools are the fundamental tools of the trade, using them properly obviously requires mentorship and instruction. Escoffier’s online learning platform and mobile app give online students a way to submit assignments, track their progress, and interact with their Chef Instructors and classmates.
By documenting their journey with photos, students and Chef Instructors are able to collaborate on what went well and where students can improve…including the proper use of tools and methods.
The Possibilities of What You Might Create With Your Tools Are Endless
No matter how much or little experience you have in the kitchen, understanding the proper use of professional chef tools is fundamental to a successful career in the food business. If you’re curious or have questions, request more information to find out if Escoffier’s online culinary or pastry arts program is right for you.
“The online program gives me the opportunity to be educated by great chefs who are already masters in their domain, but in the comfort and familiar surroundings of my home. The combination of live sessions, recorded sessions, online forums, and one-on-one time with the Chef Instructors enables me to learn and grow my skill set in a way that is tailored to my learning style and needs.”
Scott Broker, Escoffier Online Culinary Arts Graduate
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