Three Months Cooking at the Culinary Institute of America Why the heck is he writing all of this stuff?


cooking definitions

other cooking

home, please

This journal is about my experiences at the Culinary Institute of America. During the summer of 1998, I'm taking the 12 week "Culinary Comprehensive" course.

I've always been very interested in cooking, and I'm sure this experience will either make me more interested, or cure me of all curiosity for good. Those of you who know me will probably find this journal entertaining. Those of you who do not know me may find it less so.

Another view on the CIA can be found in the book The Making of a Chef : Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America. I strongly recommend this book as an insight into the training that chefs typically go through. If nothing else, I'm sure the writing is much better than I'll ever manage.

Why the CIA? Well, the foodie in me seems to think that it's the best, and that therefore I should go there. But after considering the options (Cordon Bleu, California Culinary Academy) I just decided that the CIA was more "serious" about cooking than some of the others. They also happened to offer the courses I wanted (ie, professional level) with a minimum of additional hassles, and everything is hands on. I mean, really, can you think of anything more stupid than paying big bucks just to watch someone else cook?

Here's the list of courses that I'll be taking. Scary, huh?

  • Soups, Stocks, and Sauces
  • Professional Cook's Skills Development
  • Cooking Principles
  • Restaurant Sampler
  • Garde Manger
  • Appetizer and Hors d'oeuvres
  • Charcuerie, Smoke House, and Confit
  • Hot and Cold Buffet
  • Professional Baking Fundamentals
  • Basic Baking
  • Basic Bread Baking
  • Advanced Bread Baking
  • Cakes, Tortes, and Tarts
  • Patisserie
  • Individual European Pastries
  • Confectionery Workshop

If you'd like to read about something in particular, you may find this alternate view of the summer helpful. Click here for a non-date oriented view of this journal.

Copyright 1998 Tom Dowdy