Culinary Education 101 - The Cooking Like a Chef Crash Course | Chef Rudakova | Skillshare

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Culinary Education 101 - The Cooking Like a Chef Crash Course

teacher avatar Chef Rudakova, Chef & Culinary Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Welcome to Class


    • 2.

      Essential Culinary Skills


    • 3.

      Essential Flavours


    • 4.

      Nutrition BASICs for cooking


    • 5.

      Stocks & Broths


    • 6.



    • 7.



    • 8.



    • 9.

      Sustainability in cooking


    • 10.

      Food plating


    • 11.

      BONUS: Food flavour elevation techniques


    • 12.

      Final thoughts


    • 13.

      Knife Sharpening All in One


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About This Class

Culinary Education in 90 min

“Knowing a 1000 recipes will not make you a great Chef, but knowing food science & mastering culinary techniques will!” 

In short, that’s exactly what this class is about.

In the following 9 lessons & a Bonus one, you will get to know all the basics of the essential culinary topics that you will need to work on and develop in order to really “kill it in the kitchen” & become a great Chef. 

After finishing this course, you will:

  • Become more confident in the cooking & learning new techniques
  • Get to know all the essential culinary skills & techniques that you will need to develop or refresh, in order to manage a successful kitchen
  • Learn basic culinary theory (e.g. what’s most important in baking; how to assess a well-cooked sauce; key principles of a beautiful & balances plating, flavour building, etc.)
  • Know the right path to more sustainable cooking 
  • Find out about techniques that can elevate flavour of the simplest of the ingredients
  • Be able to analyse the recipe and cook & present any standard dish from any culinary area (appetizer; main course; pastry & dessert; bread, etc.)

So whoever you are: 

  • a passionate pro-homecook,
  • an aspiring young person considering going to a culinary school 
  • an experienced Chef, wishing to refresh her culinary knowledge & theory


I hope you do enjoy it, will learn something new and valuable to take you a step further in your culinary journey, and it will inspire you to continue your culinary education & mastery.

Don’t forget to DOWNLOAD THE WORKBOOK with extra tips & supporting materials for the course. 

Have fun!

If you find this course useful, check out my other content HERE:

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Chef Rudakova

Chef & Culinary Artist


Hey there,

My name is Natalia, a.k.a. Chef Rudakova. I’m a professionally trained Chef, a Culinary Artist, a YouTuber and a Culinary Instructor. 

You might know me from my YouTube channels or Instagram, where I share interesting, fundamental and non-trivial culinary techniques, breakdown various ingredients and explain how these ingredients contribute to cooking recipes. 

Teaching & explaining how cooking works is my passion! And, therefore, I’ve created a series of cooking classes for Skillshare, that can open up a curtain, leading you to an exciting culinary world and make you a great Chef. 

You are my culinary hero!

Now go & cook som... See full profile

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1. Welcome to Class: Hello everyone. It's Natalia, also known as Chef Rudakova here. I'm a professional chef, a certified nutritionist, and the food content creator. You might know me from my YouTube or other social media, but today I'm here, and if you don't know me yet, I'm glad to finally caught your attention. You're going to find exactly the culinary information you're looking for in my course. This course is an introductory course to culinary education. This is not a collection of recipes, it's rather a carefully selected package of theoretical knowledge about culinary techniques and skills with elaborate examples. As I often say, knowing 1,000 recipes is not going to make you a great chef, but knowing culinary techniques and food science will, and this course is exactly what's about. In the following nine lessons, and the bonus one, you're going to learn all the basics over the essential culinary topics on which you're going to need to work on and develop in order to really kill it in the kitchen and become a great chef. This course is a beginner introductory course. It's suitable for anyone with a desire to really dig deeper into the culinary world. Some of the examples that they give here therefore, directly to the professional kitchens. However, all the information that's being taught can be applied to home cooking as well. You don't necessarily need to be striving for a professional career in cooking in order to go through this course. What you need to have is a sincere interest in the culinary world. Whoever you are, a passionate pro home cook and aspiring young person considering going to culinary school in the future or an experienced chef wishing to refresh and show culinary knowledge and theory, this course is for you. I hope you do enjoy it, and you'll learn something new and valuable, is going to take you a step further into your culinary journey. Don't forget to download the coursebook with extra tips and information, and I'll see you soon in the coming lessons. 2. Essential Culinary Skills: The topic of the first lesson in our mini culinary education course is essential culinary skills. I would rephrase it to the skills essential to culinary success for aspiring pro home cooks and professional cooks, and chefs working in the industry today. Here are my top five. Number 1, the most important culinary skill and knowledge that applies to everyone; everyone who's involved in cooking, is knowing how to properly set up your workstation. Why is it so important? Because when you're cooking in the industry or when you're cooking at home for a large group of friends, or even doing your own prep for a week, speed is crucial. In order to be fast and efficient, your workspace has to be properly organized, so everything is located conveniently and in close proximity to you, depending on what exactly you're cooking right now. This is like working on an assembly line, except for the fact of course that you need to do way more tasks around you. Yes, everything needs to be done around you without you moving too much. For example, if you're a right-handed, your knife should always be on your right side. If you use your towel a lot, your towel should always be on you. If you're peeling potatoes, the bowl with your potato peels should be right the where you want it to be. Let me give you an example of how I would typically set up my workstation. Here are all the items that I would usually use for wherever I'm cooking, and that's how I'm going to arrange them. First goes the non slip mat and goes right in front of me if I'm cutting right now. Then goes the cutting board on top of the non slip mat, and I'm checking if it's not moving, which is how it should be. If you don't have a non slip mat like this, you can use a wet towel and place it over here. It will also help your board not to move. Then goes the bowl for all my scraps and I would put it over here, so if I need it, I can move it, use it, and put it aside. You can also use several scrap bowls for different type of scraps. One for the ones that are not reusable and the one for example, that you can use for your sauces and stocks for their own. You can separate it right away at your station if you have the space. Then go with these three guys. Here's my tasting spoon. I would always have it on me. I can put it over here in my pocket, so I can reach it anytime or I can put it on the pocket over here, which chefs usually have, but I don't have right now, so I'm going to put it over here. You will typically also have a glass with the sanitizer, so if you taste something, you can clean it in the glass and then put it back, and it's always clean. Then I have my tweezers for plating and my offset spatula also for plating and arranging stuff also right here, right where I need them. Then goes the towels and my knife. I would usually have at least three towels on me. Yes, all the chefs, they have the towel obsession. One towel, I would usually have it a little bit wet and I will place it on my right-hand side because I use my knife with my right hand, and I place knife on top of it. Why? Because your knife wouldn't move so much and also if I need to clean my knife very quickly, I can just clean it like that if it doesn't need any extra sanitation. Then these two towels go. The first one I would put it like this, open it up and put it in front of me, in my front pocket so I can use it. It should be dry, and I could use it for handling hot stuff, for example. Another towel I would put at the back. It will be my extra towel, so if this one goes dirty, or wet, or whatever happens with it, I can use this one instead. Now that your workstation is all set up, you can move on to the second essential skill, which is preparing your mise en place. Mise en place is all the food items of your dish and some of them are prepped in advance. Yes, if you can prep something in advance, you should definitely, definitely do it to ensure that you are fast and your food is served at proper temperature. Let me give you an example. Here is all my mise en place for cooking a basic pasta dish. Now I'm going to arrange it in the order that I would actually use it again, in order to be a more efficient and fast. First thing first, I'm going to need some pasta, and usually it would be a precooked pasta. You do precook pasta in most of the restaurants, even the Italian ones. For example, if this pasta takes 10 minutes to cook from the dry state to the fully cooked state, al dente, I would cook it a day for about seven minutes, then cover it with oil so it doesn't stick, and package it full portion. Then cook it for servers for three remaining minutes. My pasta goes first in the line, then goes my tomato sauce, which is also precooked, and I would typically have here just the amount that I need for one portion, so I don't need to measure it all the time. Then goes my as you can notice, pre-cut cherry tomatoes, so I don't need to waste time on that. Next goes my washed herbs which were already picked and all I have to do for the service, I have to slice them so they don't lose their color and don't bruise, and don't get brown. This is how you would typically have your herbs on the station for a few hours during the service. You will have dry paper towel on the bottom and the wet paper towel on the top, so your herbs remain fresh and hydrated. Finally, the last two items on my mise en place is the limes or lemons and cured egg yolks for some umami flavors to substitute cheese maybe, and a rasp. I can quickly use it like this on my dish, and my dish is ready. I would actually have my rasp on my left-hand side because I would usually use it with the left hand, so it goes over there. The third most important essential culinary knowledge is sanitation and safety. This is not just important for people who are working professionally in the industry, but also very important for people who are cooking at home. Regarding this topic, I would highly encourage you to go ahead and do your own research so you properly understand what sanitation and safety means. Once again, it's very, very important and you should not ignore it and neglect it. But here are my top five points. First things first, make sure that you have, and you know way your first aid kit is. Once you've located your first aid kit, make sure that it has the following items: bandages, plasters, and burning spray. These three guys, they will cure most of the accidents that happen in the kitchen. Next, check your fire extinguisher. Make sure that it's present and it's working. Then organize your fridge according to the sanitation rules. For example, keep all your raw meats and fish at the bottom shelf of the fridge, not at the top, not at the middle, at the bottom, so all the potential bacterias, they don't leak from the top of the shelf to the bottom and contaminate all the foods that are in the middle. Temperature control is vital for any kind of safe cooking, so make sure that you know your food danger zone chart by heart. Following up on our previous essential skill which is sanitation and safety, comes the one that's quite related to it, and it's called knife sharpening. It is absolutely vital to know how to sharpen your knives yourself and how to maintain it during all the time when you're cooking. Because most of the cut accident in the kitchen could be prevented if you maintain your knife sharp. Last but not least, cleaning and sanitation. Make sure that you clean and sanitize all your equipment. For example, if you've just used your boards to cut raw chicken, make sure that you cleaned it properly and sanitize it, including your knife. The final most essential skill when it comes to cooking that applies to everyone, is speed. Here, remember that speed equals to practice plus organization. If you are lacking in one of these two, go hard on another one. For example, if you are not that experience and you haven't been cooking for a while, go hard on your organization. If you're pretty good at organization, then invest your time into practicing; Practice makes perfect. When it comes to organization, I'm not only talking about setting up your workstation and your mise en place, I'm also talking about organizing your workflow. Know which part of the dish you can work on first and which you can push to the very last minute, and that would depend on the type of ingredients that you have, on the temperature controls, and on your own abilities. In order to help you out a little bit with the organization part, there will be a sample of the workflow plan that you can download and use for your cooking. 3. Essential Flavours: In this second video of our culinary course, we're going to talk about essential flavors. First of all, we're going to discover what they are, learn what is the flavor profile of the dish, find out how to build it, and how to balance it. When we are talking about the essential culinary flavors, first of all, we need to talk about the type of tastes that we as humans can recognize. The way that our mouth is structured is that the taste buds that are mostly located on our tongue, and some of them are located on the throat, can perceive five main types of tastes which are: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and recently recognized, umami flavor. The selection of food items over here are the best to describe each of these tastes. Lemons, they give us the sour taste, dates give us the sweetness, well, salt is salty, black peppercorns, they give us very bitter taste, and the best way to describe the umami flavor would be to taste MSG. When you're building the flavor profile of your dish, you should consider two groups of flavors that should be present on your plate. These are the primary flavors that should reflect the flavor of your main ingredient and the secondary supporting flavors, which represents all the other ingredients on your plate that should support and enhance the flavor of the main ingredient. If your main ingredient is quite clean and doesn't have much flavor on its own, the seasoning that you will choose and the other ingredients on the plate should enhance and create the depth of flavor on the dish, and everything is called the flavor profile. Typically, but not always, it is better to have a simpler flavor profile rather than a very complex one, because it's just hard to balance it. It is advised to focus on the quality of the ingredients itself. The better the ingredients are, the fresher they are, the more flavor they will bring to your dish on themselves. The flavors of all the ingredients on your plate can either harmonize or contrast. If you decide to go with the contrast way, bear in mind that all the flavors should balance out and your main ingredient should stay your main ingredient and bear the main flavor, nothing should compete with it. For example, if you decide to add a little bit of acidity to your dish, it should not become too sour and overpower your main ingredient. It should add just a little bit of sourness to spike your taste buds. At this point, you might ask me, but how do I know which flavors work well together? The answer to this question is that if we were not living at the age of information, I would tell you to go and study the cuisines of the world to find out which flavors typically and traditionally work well together. For example, in Italy, it would be a combination of tomatoes, basil, and olive oil. In Greece, it would be oregano, yogurt, and lemon and so on. This would be a great adventure on its own and a lot of fun. I still encourage you to go and do that. However, since we have Internet, I would highly encourage you just to go on Internet and search which flavor goes well with these specific ingredient that you're thinking about. I could also recommend you one specific book, it's called The Flavor Bible, which a lot of chefs and barristers and pastry chefs have. You can use it as a reference. It contains all the traditional, typical flavor combinations. Now let me give you an example of how you should be thinking when deciding how to build the flavor profile for your dish. The first question you should ask yourself is, what is the main ingredient? What is the primary ingredient of my dish? Let's say that you decided to cook a chicken, specifically chicken breast, the second question that you should ask yourself is, how am I going to cook it? Am I going to steam it, am I going to bake it and I'm going to sear it? Why do you need to ask this question? Because the culinary method of your choice is going to either add the flavor to the dish or take it away. For example, if we decided to sear our chicken breast, which is quite flavorless on its own, the mild reaction that is created during the process of searing would add additional flavor to the dish. It would add a little bit of color and the crunch, in other words, texture to the dish. We already talked about the flavor of the primary ingredient, which is chicken in our case, I decided that it's quite mild. Now let's talk about the seasoning. The additional seasoning and flavoring of your choice should enhance the primary ingredient's flavor and not mask it in any way. Add just a little bit of that unidentifiable complexity to the dish. In our case, I'm just going to go for the salt and I'm going to add it at the very end of our preparation. This is the case with most of the culinary methods. However, in some cases, you would add your flavoring at the beginning or in the middle of your cooking preparation because some of the flavors they take time to open up and release the flavor, and some of them, if you choose to go for a very long cooking process, they will just lose their flavor and evaporate if you add them too early. The final thing to decide on when building your plate is to think about the supporting ingredients and their flavor profiles. The role of the supporting ingredients is to support the flavor of the main ingredient. So they should add to the texture, the color and nutrition of the final plate. Right now on our plate we have just the chicken breast, which is seared, so it's quite crispy, but also dry. Let's think about the accompanying sauce to our chicken because it's just the non-negotiable part of any main course. The sauce that I would personally go for is the chicken veloute sauce, one of the mother sauces that we're going to talk about this specific sauce later on in other lessons. Don't worry about this too much if you don't know. The lesson that you should take out of this example is that the main ingredient in the chicken veloute sauce is chicken broth, not fish, not beef, specifically chicken broth. Because all that there are choices that we have, they would dominate and fight the main flavor of our dish, which should stay chicken. You could also choose to add a little bit of nutmeg and lemon in this specific application. Again, not too much, not that it's too recognizable, just add a little bit of complexity and spike up your senses. Right now on our plate, we have our sear chicken and have our sauce. We have a little bit of texture variety going on and the flavor of variety. But we are definitely missing on colors and we're definitely missing on nutrition. We need to add a little bit of fiber and a little bit of complex carbs. In this specific example, I would add some fresh salad to this dish with some fresh and vibrant green basil, red cherry tomatoes, colorful canola, and olive oil vinaigrette. The flavors that you know, work well together. All of that is a perfect example how to create a complete enjoyable dish with balanced flavors and where a chicken is recognizable as the main ingredient. 4. Nutrition BASICs for cooking: Human bodies need a variety of food in order to sustain ourselves and be healthy. Some of the foods they act as energy sources and the other ones are building blocks so we can grow and once we are fully grown, we can regenerate ourselves and renovate. Why do you need to know the fundamentals of nutrition as a professional chef or a home cook? There are many reasons of course, but the first one would be to be healthy yourself and to be able to create healthy and nutritious dishes. More and more people nowadays are concerned about health and fitness and these healthy options are no longer considered to be boring and plain. In order to be able to create those healthy options, you need to know what healthy is so you can create something beautiful and delicious. Not even mentioning that it is required if you're working in a hospital or school canteens, or if you are creating foods for people with allergies and intolerances, which are super common right now, or for people who are following certain religious or ethical diets. In these nutrition fundamental lessons for cooks, we only have time to talk about the most important thing, which is nutrients. First of all, what is a nutrient? Nutrient is something essential for our diet. In other words, something that our body cannot manufacture ourselves so we need to consume it with our food. As we know right now there are six categories of nutrients, and those are carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water. As I've mentioned previously, some of these nutrients they carry energy, something that's required for us to operate our bodies. This energy is measured in calories. As you know, some of the foods that we consume have a lot of calories and some are low in calories. But it's not quite correct to categorize food in this way. The more accurate and the more useful way would be to think about foods as foods that are high in nutrient density and the ones that are low in nutrient density. Nutrient density is the amount of nutrients per one calorie. Now that we know what it is, we can focus our diet and concentrate it with foods that are high in nutrient density so we can make it more healthy and nutritious. Some of the examples of foods that are high in nutrient density would be fruits and vegetables and foods that are low in nutrient density would be refined sugars and starches. Let's go quickly through all the six types of nutrients that I've just mentioned. Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for our body. What it means? It means that our body will burn carbs in first place and then if there is not enough carbs, then it will start burning fats and proteins, which should be avoided by the way. I know that it's quite popular right now for people to avoid carbs in their diet at all costs. This is not correct because we need to consume carbs, we need to have at least 100 grams of carbs each day to prevent ketosis, which is quite dangerous disease when our blood cells are no longer carrying oxygen. So carbs are needed for our diet. Carbs can be simple and complex. Some examples of the simple carbs would be sugar, sweets, glucose and examples of the complex carbs would be grains, bread, beans, and so on. As you can imagine, the complex carbs are preferred for a healthier diet. Here it's worth also mentioning fiber. Fiber is something that cannot be digested by our body. You might ask me now, why do we need to eat fiber if you can't even digest it and get the nutrients out of it? Great question. The answer to that is that fiber is necessary for our healthy intestine and it also eliminates all the waste from our body. So if you want to have a healthy gut, you need to eat fiber. Fats. Fats are highly concentrated energy sources for our body. Except for the fat part, it's also very important to consume fats because they carry some of the essential fat-soluble vitamins. When we're thinking about fats we're usually thinking about saturated fats, which are solid at room temperature, such as butter and meat fat and unsaturated fats like many of the vegetable oils. Here it's also important to mention another group of fats, they are called trans fats. Those fats are vegetable oils that are solid at room temperature. But most of them, they were manufactured chemically in order to be that way. It's important to avoid those trans fats in an ideal healthy diet. Proteins. Proteins are the building blocks for our body. Proteins also fall in two groups; complete proteins and incomplete proteins. Complete proteins are the proteins that contain all of the nine amino acids that our body cannot generate on its own and needs to consume from the outside in the form of the food that we eat. Examples of the foods that are great sources of complete proteins would be mostly foods that are animal-based, such as meat, fish, chicken, eggs, and so on. This definition is actually the reason for a common misconception about plant-based diets; believing that they lack in proteins, they do not lack in proteins. It's quite easy to combine several complimentary incomplete proteins to create one complete protein source in one dish. For example, if we combine beans and rice or beans and nuts, it will create one complete protein. Another example of the plant-based complete proteins would be soy and tofu. Vitamins. Vitamins are required in order to regulate body functions and utilize energy. An important thing for cooks to know about vitamins is that some of them are water-soluble and some of them are fat-soluble. The water-soluble vitamins are vitamin B and C and you should avoid boiling them because all the vitamins they will be dissolved in water and all the nutritional benefits of the food that you're cooking will be lost. The last two categories of nutrients that I want to talk about today are minerals and water. Examples of minerals are calcium, iron, zinc, sodium. Some of these minerals you need to consume in a large amount and some of them you need to consume in a small amount, but you need to eat all of them in order to properly function. Water. Water is quite self-explanatory. You need to drink a lot of water in order to properly function. Many of the dietitians they would recommend to drink at least six cups of water per day. 5. Stocks & Broths: Stocks. This is the fundamental subject for any professional chef or home cook to learn and master. Without knowing how to properly prepare a stock, there is no way for you to move forward in your culinary journey, especially when it comes to a classical French cuisine. Even the word stock in French, is fond, which stands for foundation. In this lesson I actually wanted to share with you, all stocks that are available out there and show you how to make them. But there's obviously no time, in the frame of this basic fundamental culinary course. There's actually no time for me to share with you so many things that I would like to show you. If you want to learn some of the culinary techniques and principles in greater details, do let me know the subject that you're most interested in, and I would be glad, to make another course that would be more detailed. Now a little bit more theory before I show you how to make a classical chicken stock. First of all, let me clarify for you the difference between stocks and broths, which many people think it's the same thing, but it's not. There are several theories on what the difference is, but it's widely accepted that stocks are made from simmering bones and vegetables. So they are more rich in gelatin and has less pronounced flavors. Whereas broths are made from simmering meats and vegetables. They have a more deep and pronounced flavor at the end. For example, if you want to make a specific very flavorful soup, you might want to go for a broth. However, if you're preparing some liquids for further preparation of sauces and brace liquids, stock might be a better option. When it comes to stocks, there are two main categories. There are white stocks and there are brown stocks. The cooking principle is generally the same. However, there is one difference. When it comes to brown stocks, the bones and the mirepoix that you use, you would need to brown it, through the process of searing, or roasting. The three categories of ingredients that are applicable when you are making any stock are, mirepoix, which is a collection of aromatic vegetables that contribute to the flavor of the stock, the water, of course, and there's some bouquet garni or sachet, which contains the herbs and spices of your choice. If you're making a meat or fish stock, then, of course, you would need to add a fourth category, which is bones. Now let me show you how to prepare a proper stock, on the example or for classical chicken white stock. I will be talking with you along the way, and explain the important tips and steps in this process. The first step in the procedure of making chicken and meat stocks, would be to blanch the bones. Some chefs might consider this step optional, but I'm still going to show you so you understand why you might want to do it. The main reason for blanching your bones would be to get rid of some of the impurities that come with animal protein. It's very important to start the process from very cold water, because those impurities, they get dissolved only in cold water. The thing that you see me now skimming from the top of the water, this is exactly the impurities that I was talking about. Then you would typically bring this water to boil, and it will help to solidify those impurities. It's quite easy to get rid of them. Once the water gets to the boiling point, you would fish out your bones, and rinse them thoroughly. You don't need this water anymore, so you can get rid of it. Just to reiterate, if you haven't done the blanching of the bones part, you would end up with all these impurities in your actual stock. So we would have to continuously skim them from the top of the stock. Here are our blanched bones. The second step in the procedure of making this specific chicken stock, would be to put your bones in the port, and cover them again with cold water. Cold because some of the proteins, they're soluble only in cold water and you want maximum nutritional benefit from our stock. Now let's talk aromatics and mirepoix. When it comes to aromatics, you basically have two options. You can tie up a bouquet garni, or you can prepare little sachet or parcel, which is exactly what I'm doing here. The classical options for aromatics would be thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, parsley stems, and cloves. As for you, you can add any aromatics that you want. Just make sure they do not overpower the main ingredient in your stock. In our case, it's chicken. As you remember, they should be complimentary and supporting, not overwhelming. Mirepoix. The classical components of a white mirepoix would be onions, celery, and carrots. However, it's quite common also to add a little bit of parsnip, mushroom dreams, and even tomatoes in order to cut in acidity. The size of cuts of your mirepoix depends on the length of time that you need to cook your stock. For example, vegetable stock would require the smallest pieces of mirepoix, and the largest cuts would go into the beef and veal stocks. After a couple of hours, your stock is basically done, and it's time to strain it through several layers of cheese cloth. The last point that I want to mention here that it's very important to cool down your stock very quickly, especially the one that was based on any meat. Maybe even use the double bowl with ice water, as I'm doing here, and refrigerate. 6. Sauces: Souces. The know-how of how to prepare a proper sauce is absolutely fundamental culinary skill applicable for all chefs. It doesn't matter in what food you specialize in, vegan, vegetarian, Lebanese, Taiwanese. Sauces are essential everywhere. Although in this lesson, we are going to be talking about French sauces, the underlying principles of making a sauce are similar or the same across all cuisines. As you might remember from our Essential Flavors lesson, any kind of dish has the primary ingredient with its main flavor, the flavor that you want to project through your dish. Then goes all the secondary ingredients with their secondary complimentary flavors. The role of the sauce in a dish is to deliver those complimentary flavors to your main ingredient, and those flavors would either contrast the main flavor or enhance it. Any kind of sauce consists of two main components, and those are: the flavored liquids and a thickening agent. The way that French Sauces are categorized right now is based on those two components. In the French cuisine, there are five mother or leading sauces. Those are: Bechamel, Espagnole, Veloute, you remember we talked about Veloute sauce in our previous lesson?; Tomato sauce, and Hollandaise. Although some people might say that Mayonnaise should take the place of Hollandaise, but for this specific course, we're going to stick with a more widely acceptable version. The main liquid in Bechamel is milk, as you might know and the thickening agent is a white roux. Roux is a cooked mixture of equal parts by weight or flour and fat. By the way, if you want to be successful at cooking, you should start measuring your ingredients by weight, not by volume. It's a more precise, and more proper way of measuring ingredients. Veloute. The main liquid in Veloute is white stock. For example, it can be a fish stock or chicken stock that we've prepared in our previous lesson. The thickening agent, again is a roux. But here there is a little variation. You can go for a white roux or you can go for a blond roux. Generally, there are three types of roux. There is white roux, there is blond roux, and there is a brown roux. The difference between these three types of roux is generally the amount of time that you're cooking your roux. The longer you are cooking it out, the more darker it gets and the more nutty in flavor. Espagnole. Espagnole is a dark type of sauce, it's based on a brown type of stock, which can be a veal stock or a beef stock and a brown roux. Tomato sauce. Tomato sauce can be based on tomatoes and a vegetable stock, or on a tomato stock. The thickening agent this time is different. This time the thickening agent is the tomato puree itself. Finally, the last one, Hollandaise. The main liquid or the body of Hollandaise sauce is clarified butter. It gets thickened with help of egg yolks. Now you can see how it's similar with mayonnaise. Once you get to know all the leading sauces in French cuisine, it's quite easy to master all the other sauces, which are generalized as small sauces, that basically branch out from all these five mother sauces. For example, if we are talking about Mornay sauce, it's a derivative from Bechamel with the addition of cheese and butter. Sauce Maltaise or Maltase is a derivative from Hollandaise with the addition of orange juice. Mousseline again comes from Hollandaise, where whipped cream is added. Today I'm going to show you how to make sauce Veloute. Since we had already prepared a chicken stock in our previous lesson, so it only makes sense. However, if you want to know how to make all five mother sauces, and maybe even some small sauces, do let me know and we will definitely go through it in our next course. Step one in the preparation of chicken Veloute is the making of clarified butter. Set up a small pot on a very, very low heat and slowly, slowly melt the butter without mixing or shaking it. Soon enough you will see that the butter has split into two layers. The bottom white layer of milk proteins and minerals, and the yellow top layer of butter fat, which is essentially the clarified butter that we require for this recipe. Now that the clarified butter is done, we can continue making our chicken Veloute sauce. First things first. Heat up your pan, then add the clarified water and make sure it's hot enough, and then add all the ingredients of your white mirepoix. As you might remember from our previous lesson, white mirepoix consists of onions and celery. Quite often, you will also find there are some leaks, white mushroom trims and parsnip. In this particular case, you need to use a small cut to dice them. Sweat the mirepoix on a low heat for about 5-10 minutes. Then you can add the flour all at once, mix it thoroughly and cook it out on slow to medium heat, for as long as it takes for the roux to obtain this golden color. The next step would be to, gradually, mix the roux with your chicken stock in such a way that it doesn't split, and no lumps are formed. Here is a quick tip to ensure that it's done properly. First of all, add your stock little by little, and don't add more stock until the previous portion is completely mixed in. The second tip would be to heat up your stock before mixing. Take the pan with your roux off the heat while you're mixing it with the stock. This will make sure that your sauce doesn't get lumpy. Once everything is mixed in, you can put it back on heat. Bring the sauce to boil, and then reduce to simmer. Then drop in a Sachet with some bay leaves, sage, thyme, and peppercorns, and simmer like this for about half an hour. Make sure that you also stir it and skim it from time to time. Once the sauce gets to the right consistency, now it's time to strain it. Do it using a sieve and, a wet cheese cloth. You might want to wet your cheese cloth with some water, before straining to make sure that it doesn't absorb any of our precious flavorful sauce. Use spatula. Always use the spatula. Because all the best and the deepest flavors they always stick to the bottom or the sides of the pan. This is the consistency of a chicken Veloute that we are looking for. This kind of consistency in sauces is also called as Nappe, which basically means that the sauce has a spoon coating texture. One way to test out this sauce consistency would be to pour a little bit of the sauce on a flat plate and spread it by pushing it along with a back of a spoon. The sauce of the right consistency would not immediately pull back together. It would rather stay apart for a little while. Now that you know that your sauce is of the right texture, it's time to reheat it if you want to use it right away, and importantly, season it. You always season your sauce at the very end as a finishing part. 7. Baking: Baking. Baking fresh breads in the restaurants used to be a norm. Nowadays, it's very far from it. Many restaurants, they pre-purchase precooked breads and then they freeze it and then they defrost it and warm it up for you for the service, if you're lucky. Yes, bread making, it's a skill. It requires special skills, special knowledge, and experience, and it's also very labor-intensive. Many restaurants, they choose a different path. However, nowadays, serving fresh breads to your customers is considered to be a luxury and something that will definitely stand you out from the crowd and attract new customers. Same applies for home cooks. If you learn how to make your own fresh bread and serve it to your guests, this is what will put in their mind, you as a cook who "kills it in the kitchen". In this lesson, we are going to learn the principles and the most important things to know about bread baking. First of all, and I've already mentioned it in my previous lessons, start using weights to measure your ingredients. Forget about the volume. Volume is not a very good form of measurement of ingredients when it comes to cooking. Another important thing to know when it comes to baking specifically, is baker's percentages. Baker's percentage is the amount of ingredients that is been used in this recipe as a percentage to the amount of flour in this recipe. For example, if I'm making some simple wheat tacos, the recipe would ask for 200 grams of flour, 100 grams of water, 60 grams of butter, and five grams of salt. By the way, take note of this recipe itself. It's a really good one. In this case, the baker's percentage would be 100 percent of flour, 50 percent of water, 30 percent of butter, and 2.5 percent of salt, and that's where your high school maths will come handy. In this case, you can scale your recipe very easily. Now, pay attention here. Here comes the three pillars to baking success. The first one, I already mentioned it, use the exact measurements, gram to gram. If the recipe asks for five grams of something, use five grams, not four, not six, five grams, especially when it comes to chemical leavening agents. Use the exact ingredients that the recipe asks for. For example, there are so many types of flours. Make sure that you use specifically the type of flour that the recipe is asking for. By the way, we will be talking about flours later on in this lesson, so keep on watching. The third one, use the specific directions that the recipe is asking for. In the future, when you get enough knowledge of this specific baking item and enough experience, you can play around with these pillars. You can use different measurements. You can start to substitute several ingredients and you can alter the directions so it's more convenient for you. But when you're just starting out, when you're just using this recipe the first time and you are baking this specific type of bread the first time, follow the exact directions. Otherwise, you simply will never end up with the same product. Depending on the type of bread you're going to bake, there are seven main ingredients that you will definitely come across. The following three are the ones that you will definitely find in any recipe. Those are flour, some liquids and seasoning and by seasoning, I mean salt, of course. Then the next most common ingredient would be some leavening agents, and here it can be some yeast, a fresh yeast or dry active yeast, or a chemical leavening agent such as baking soda and baking powder. The other three common baking ingredients are sugar, fat and eggs. In this lesson, I'm going to talk to you about the most important element when it comes to baking, and that's flour. When it comes to flour, as bakers, we should be looking for two main things. The protein content and the ability of the flour to develop gluten structures. Gluten is essential for baking. Gluten provides the structure and strength to the baked products. If we have to categorize different type of flours, first of all, we would break them down in two groups, the wheat flours and other kind of flours. By other kind of flours, I mean like corn meal, oat flour, soy flour and so on. Those flours may or may not contain proteins. However, this protein, if they do contain it, it does not have the ability to form any gluten structures. The bread that's baked only with kind of this flours would be very crumbly and weak. There is solution for that. You can use these flours in the combination with wheat flour to give a little bit of structure to your bread, or you can add in some of the molecular elements such as Xanthan gum and Guar gum. Those ingredients, they can simulate the work of gluten in the bread. When it comes to wheat flours, there are three main groups. The rye flour, whole wheat flour, and white flour. Rye flour has quite a bit of a protein content inside, about 11 percent. However, it doesn't develop gluten as well. You would usually have it in combination with some white flour in your bread recipes. Whole wheat flour. Whole wheat flour has the highest amount of protein inside. It's also really good at developing gluten. However, whole wheat flour also contains brans and germs, which can be a little bit sharp and they will cut the developed gluten strends. Also the fat inside the germs can act as a shortening and soften the gluten again. In this case, you can find some recipes that ask only for the whole wheat flour and that's completely fine. You will get nice bread. But if there is no white wheat flour inside, then your bread won't be as airy and chewy. When it comes to white wheat flour, there are also several types here. Here they are in the descending order of protein content. First of all comes the bread flour. Also, in some countries it's known as 00 flour. This flour is most commonly used among bakers, and it has the best ability for development of gluten. Then goes the pastry flour, which is used for pastries, and then comes the cake flour, which is used for cakes and some delicate and soft type of breads. You will also find on the shelves of your supermarkets, of course, the all-purpose flour, the AP flour. All-purpose flour is the combination, the mix of all kinds of flours that makes it applicable for many of the baking applications. However, the real bakers would quite rarely use the all-purpose flour because they won't have any influence over the gluten development in this case. Now, let's use our newly acquired knowledge about baking and apply it to making of the classical French bread, Brioche. The first step in the making of brioche would be to prepare a pre-ferment. Pre-ferment is the mixture of yeast, flour, liquid and sometimes also sugar to activate the yeast and boost its activity in the baked product. In our case, we're mixing bread flour, which you already know is the strongest and the preferred type of flour for baking purposes, the dry instant yeast, which is a type of commercial yeast that doesn't need to be hydrated in water, and it can be mixed directly with flour and warm milk. Warm, meaning that it needs to be heated to around 85 degrees Fahrenheit or 30 degrees Celsius, which is the best temperature for yeast development. Once all the ingredients of your pre-ferment are properly mixed, you can form a little ball of dough, cover it with plastic, and let it ferment for about one hour at room temperature or any temperature no higher than 85-86 degrees Fahrenheit. Once your pre-ferment is almost ready, you can start working on other ingredients. First of them is eggs. This is where one of the baking pillars of success, which is precise measurements, will come in very handy. In proper baking recipes where consistency is important, eggs are measured not in quantity, but in weights, in grams. Just because of the weight of a specific egg that you are using may vary from an average one. In this case, you would mix all the eggs together and then measure the amount that is required for your recipe. Once you measure the exact amount of eggs that you need for your recipe, you can set up your stand mixer. Put the pre-ferment inside, start mixing and start adding eggs one by one, or scoop-by-scoop in my case, which is by the way a very handy tool to have when it comes to baking. It's also important to have eggs at room temperature, so you don't inhibit the activity of yeast in our brioche dough. Once the pre-ferment and the eggs are properly mixed together, you can prepare your dry ingredients for the recipe. In our case, that would be again, bread flour, salt, and sugar. In many of the baking recipes, you will have salt added closer to the end of the process, just because salt may also inhibit the activity of the yeast. Mix all the dry ingredients together and add them all at once to your pre-ferment egg mixture. Mix it with the stand mixer for about five minutes until a ball of dough is formed. After that, continue mixing, but start adding pre-cut cold butter cubes, and mix until all the butter is evenly incorporated inside the dough. Then take a large bowl and cover the inner walls of this bowl with a little bit of clarified butter, the excess of what we've prepared in our previous Sauces lesson, or a regular butter or flour would also work. Anything that goes to make sure that your dough doesn't get too sticky. Then transfer your brioche dough inside the bowl, cover it with plastic and let it ferment for another one hour. Once again, at a temperature around 85 degrees Fahrenheit. You will know when your dough is properly fermented once it doubles in size, and here it's important not to over-ferment it. Take your dough out of the bowl right away and divide it into pieces equal to 40 and 10 grams each. Line up these dough pieces on the pre-greased tray, cover it with plastic and let it cool down for about 10 to 15 minutes in the fridge. It will be way easier to handle them afterwards once they are a little bit cooled down. Although the dough for this brioche recipe needs to be very sticky and soft, it's very important not to let the butter melt. It's much better when it's a little bit chilled when you handle it with your warm hands. The next step would be to shape a brioche bun. For that, take the pre-measured piece of dough, flatten it out a little bit. You can use also a little bit of flour to help you out, and start pinching the dough inside to shape a little ball of dough. Then turn it around and use your circular motion of hands to shape your dough as you see me doing here right now. Once the bun is shaped, put it on the tray and make sure to leave enough space in between the buns. Because they will grow and increase in volume during the proofing and baking process. In our case, we're making a two-layered brioche with a bigger bun on the bottom and the smaller little bun on the top, which is the classical shape for a French brioche. But it may get a little bit tricky because during the proofing process, the smaller bun may shift around the place and it may fall on the side. But don't take it too harsh on yourself if it doesn't stay on the top. The important thing is that your brioche is delicious. The last step to be done is to egg wash your pre-shaped little brioche bun. In order to do that, use the extra egg mixture and a little bit of milk and a little bit of salt and sugar. The purpose of the egg wash in our recipe is to prevent the brioche buns from oxidation during the proofing process. We will also repeat this egg wash after the proofing process, just before the baking, to give our brioche buns that golden color in the crust. After the first egg wash, let your buns proof at room temperature, in this case for about 30-40 minutes, so they can grow a little bit in size, and then bake them in the oven preheated to 390 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20-25 minutes. 8. Pâtisserie: Patisserie is a European style of bakery that specializes on making pastries and sweets. Yes, in some places you will find patisseries and bread bakeries in the same place. But very often they will be separated because they're very different and you will see in a minute why. The kind of products that you may find in patisserie are: muffins, cakes, cupcakes, mousses, custard, danish pastry, croissants, puddings and many other types of sweet desserts. They are very different, they're super different, not just in the way they look and how the taste, but also in the technique of their making. In this lesson, of course, I'm not going to show you how to make all of them. I'm going to show you just one, which is a combination of different kinds of patisseries. But right now we're going to go through all the general types and see how they are different. The first type of patisseries would be quick breads and cakes. As the name suggests, quick breads are breads, but they are quicker to make. They are quicker to make generally because they don't use any kind of yeast. Instead, they use chemical leavener such as baking powder and baking soda. They also don't require much of mixings. There is very little of gluten development. In the end they are much softer and delicate and they are also higher in fat and sugar, which also contributes to their softness. Examples of quick breads would be muffins and biscuits and cakes well. The sponge cakes, the pound cakes, the layered cakes that we use for wedding cakes and birthday cake. In this case, you would also need to know how to make different kinds of creams and icings, which is super-important for patisserie. The second type of patisserie goods would be cookies. Cookies are small cakes. They are very similar in a technique to the cake making. However, they generally contain less water, less liquids, which makes they're even more delicate and crumbly. Pies. When it comes to pies, you are thinking about two things, the pie crust or pie dough and the pie filling. When it comes to the pie filling, it can be fruit filling, a custard or a cream filling. There are several types of pie doughs or crusts that you come across. For example, shortcrust. Shortcrust is very similar to cookie dough. It has very little structure. Then goes to the flaky or mealy dough. Those type of dough is when the shortening is rubbed into the flour, then goes the puff pastry. Puff pastry and is where the shortening or butter, in other words, is layers along the way and then comes the crumbly types of crust. This is the type of crust that is not being baked. Here we can also add the choux pastry, which is a partially precooked type of pastry. We use it for Éclairs and Profiterol. We bake it and then we'll fill it in with creams. The last two kind of patisserie goods that I want to mention: mousse and souffle. Mousse is a kind of creamy and very soft, very tender desert where a whipped cream is incorporated in order to create this aerated structure, whereas souffle is also very aerated and soft. However, in this case we don't incorporate a cream. Instead, we incorporate whipped egg whites and then this product is being baked. Now, let me show you how to make a classical chocolate petit gateau, which I think is a very impressive dessert. It also incorporates several types of patisseries that we've been talking about today. It has the chocolate mousse, the sponge cake, the fruit filling, and also the chocolate glazing. In this specific example of petit gateau as a fruit filling we're using some preserved walnuts and syrup. I'm also adding here, a little bit of fruit jam just to give this mixture a better freezing capacity. Put it in small molds, and put it in the freezer. Meanwhile, let's start prepping our chocolate mousse. In order to do that, first of all, whip your heavy cream to medium peaks. Next, bloom the gelatin in ice cold water for at least 30 minutes. While it's blooming, you can mix together egg yolks, sugar, and salt. Next setup two double boilers. On one of them put the bowl with chocolate and another one put a bowl with your egg mixture. Once you reach the proper temperature, mix the bloomed gelatin inside the egg mixture, then temper your chocolate a little bit and mix everything together. Afterwards you can add a 1/3 of the volume of your whipped cream and mix it with a whisk to a uniform consistency. Then add the rest of the whipped cream and fold it gently with a spatula. Then transfer it to a piping bag and pipe it out into the silicon molds of your choice. Push the frozen fruit filling inside the chocolate mousse and push it about half the way through and then top it with a precooked sponge cake. Freeze in the freezer overnight until they're completely solid. To finish up our petit gateau , we are going to glaze them with a chocolate glaze, which is very simple to prepare. Just mix together heavy cream and liquid glucose. Bring it to boil then pour this mixture over the chocolate and let it rest for about one minute until the chocolate is melted. Then steer everything together and add very cold cubes of butter and mix everything together. Finally pour the chocolate glaze over your frozen petit gateaus and let it cool down and solidify. To finish up, you might also want to cover the rough edges of your petit gateau with some crumbled sponge cake or walnut pieces in my case. Let it defrost in the fridge for about couple of hours and then you can enjoy your absolutely delicious chocolate petit gateau. 9. Sustainability in cooking: Sustainability. Many of you would feel like it's a such an overused word right now, everybody is talking about it, everybody is talking how important it is, that you need to use only organic foods and you need to set up the recycling system, and yes, you need to do all of that. However, using only organic foods will not solve the whole problem. This is just a very small drop in the ocean of sustainability. It's just the result of what real sustainable thinking is. Just like the recipe. The recipe is the most obvious and visible result of really understanding and knowing culinary techniques. If you know several culinary techniques, the world is your oyster. You can make so many things. However, if you know just one or two recipes, that's all you have. As you might have noticed, this is exactly what this course is about, about understanding and knowing the culinary techniques and the thinking behind them. In this lesson, we're not going to be talking about why is it important to cook sustainably. Instead, we're going to talk about what it really means and how you can make your cooking more sustainable. First of all, I'm going to tell you that sustainability is not a black and white concept. It all really depends on the particulars of your own culinary operations. For example, some people may choose to set up a very complicated recycling system and it'll be great for them, however, for other people, it will make no sense at all, because they simply don't have a comprehensive recycling systems set up by their municipality. It's very important to understand and work with the tools and resources that you have on your hands, what you can actually do and what would make sense for you. Here're the three P's for the sustainable professional cooking. Those are People, Profit and Planet. Those are the things that you need to think about and consider when you're setting up your sustainability goals and systems. When we're talking about people, we're not only talking about people who come to enjoy your food, the guests of your restaurant. We're also talking about people who work for you, who work with you. But not only that, it's also about your suppliers, people who you source you products from, and also about the community around your restaurant. The same applies for home cooks as well. You might not have the paid guests, you might not have the staff who work for you, but you will have people who help you out, your friends who come to enjoy your cooking. You might not have the direct suppliers for your food, but you will have farmers whom you buy your produce from, or the manufacturers, the producers of the foods that you buy from the shelves of your supermarket. If you do really consider all of these people around you and do just a little bit to make their lives a little bit easier and better in a way, be sure that this will not pass by unnoticed, and be smart about it. Make sure that you really highlight it, and I'm going to talk about this a little bit later in the lesson. But now, just know that it might really stand you out from the crowd and define your cooking, which will in turn lead to higher profits and recognition. Sustainability is not about cooking and creating huge losses for yourself. If you can't afford all the organic produce, that might be something that you want to work towards in the future, but that's not the end of the world. Instead, focus on sourcing cheaper but local produce and just make people around you happy. If you can't afford having truffles and caviar on every single of your dishes. This is also not the end of the world. There are a lot of ways of cheaper flavor elevation techniques that we'll be talking about in the next lesson of this course. If you can't afford all the expensive machinery that your dish requires, but you do know the culinary techniques, you will find a way how to make this dish without investing so much in the machinery. In fact, once you make your cooking profitable, or in case of home cooks, once you make it within your budget, only then it will be considered sustainable because that's the only case when you will be able and be motivated to continue cooking and using the same principles of sustainability. Finally, is the planet. As I've already mentioned when we're thinking about the planet, we first of all think about recycling. If it makes sense for you, do set up good recycling system and make sure that you educate people around you how to use it because it might get quite tricky and do track it as well. Focus on sourcing local ingredients instead of organics that might be produced thousands and thousands of miles away from you. Instead, you might actually end up with more delicious and interesting ingredients to work with, reduce or avoid completely the use of plastic and plastic packaging. Because just because this plastic is recyclable it doesn't mean that you need it at all. Finally, do take seriously and reduce your waste, especially the organic waste. Many of the trims and scraps from the ingredients that are used for your main dishes could be used or reused to make some special, some amuse-bouche from the chef, or family meal for your stuff, which takes you back again to the first P - people. Many trims from the produce could be used to make some stocks or sauces. For example, if you serve coffee in your restaurant, you will have lots of coffee grinds which you'll usually throw away. But instead, you can make a very nice coffee infusion that will be specific to your restaurant or cooking operations. Let me give you a couple of examples how you can make your cooking a little bit more sustainable. Let's say you're looking for a new produce supplier. Consider looking for a farmer that's local to your area and after a while you'll be purchasing tomatoes from this farmer. Ask him some questions. Ask him, maybe he will take away your produce waste, which many farmers do, and they create compost on the site for them. Or ask him, does he have any produce that he has trouble selling at this moment, and many farmers do again because of the consumer behavior, many people tend to buy things that they know already and they're not willing to experiment with a new kind of produce. You might as well end up with something as delicious and beautiful as purple carrots, and you'll be the only one in the area who will be serving them. Here's another example. Let's say you have four staff members working for you, or four friends who came to your house today to help you out and then you will enjoy a nice meal together. Think about it. What do these people need? How you can support them? In case of staff members, the easiest and the nicest thing you can actually do is to provide a family meal for your staff that should be nutritious, delicious, in the acceptable atmosphere and in their own time. Unfortunately, many of the restaurants, they do not provide any staff meal for their workers. That leads to higher turnover, more time spent on training, inevitable fall in quality, and increased losses or reduced profits. In case of home cooks do consider how was the day of your friends? Are they tired? What's the best way they can help you? What do they want to eat today? Do not get obsessed with your own culinary ambitions. Another very important thing to think about it, which made people actually ignore or take as granted is the question, do people around you know enough? Are they on the same page with you? For example, you've just got this amazing, delicious purple carrots. Do tell people about it, give them a few pieces to taste. Tell them the story, how you helped out your local farmer and how this produce is unique to your cooking operations. In case of a restaurant, the very wise thing to do would be actually to post about this on your social media, educate your potential clientele, so they know how your business is sustainable and unique. 10. Food plating: Plating, undoubtedly the most exciting subject out there when it comes to the culinary world. Definitely the most asked for classes. Surprisingly though, it's not really being taught in culinary schools and many chefs believe that you can't really teach plating in the same way you can't teach good taste, and that's something that you need to figure out and explore on its own. But there are several fundamental principles when it comes to good plating. I call them the rules of plating, and that's something that I'm going to teach you today. Rule number 1, know who you're serving your food to. In other words, know who your customer is, who is going to be eating your food, and what kind of visuals are more attractive to this person at this particular time. Because there is a huge difference between foods that look beautiful and aesthetic like a painting of Monet and foods that look absolutely delicious and mouth-watering. Consider this example when exactly the same dish, a deconstructed honey cake with sour cream ice cream, was plated in two completely different ways for two completely different crowds. In the first example, you will see a plating that's more suitable for a fine dining restaurant that can be enjoyed at dinner time. In the second example, you will see a more fun and casual type of plating of exactly the same dish, but that's more suitable for summer time, for open patio Cafe that can be joined during lunch. Rule number 2, consider and think about plating before you start cooking. This is very important because in many cases you might need to adjust your workflow depending on the plating that you have in mind and some things would need to be done first. You might need to adjust your cuts and shapes of your ingredients. You might even need to find, to obtain extra tools. Sometimes you might need to add or replace garnishes in order to contribute to the overall color theme of your final plate. For example, when you are making a tiramisu, if you do use chocolate, the chocolate usually goes on the very top and the very end of the whole process. However, in this specific example, the chocolate part had to be done in the very first place before even starting making the whole tiramisu because the chocolate was used in order to create those edible vases that will carry the whole dessert inside. In the second example of this Martian tofu, which is basically a combination of two simple ingredients, the silken tofu and Isomalt. This whole look, this whole plating wouldn't be possible to achieve if the plating was not considered first before cooking. Because the silken tofu had to be molded in a spherical shape and the same goes for the Isomalt cage. Rule number 3, don't forget what's the main ingredient on your plate. This goes back to the essential flavors lesson that we had earlier on in this course. Exactly what we said about the flavors. Exactly the same thing applies to plating as well. All the garnishes that you use that contribute to the aromas, to the colors, to the textures, to the mouthfeel of your dish, they all have to complement the main ingredient on your plate. It has to be clear what the main ingredient is. That's actually, I find that's the most difficult things for the young and aspiring cooks. Because they try to master everything, all the techniques and all the dishes. They highlight everything on the plate and might look too crowded and not really good. Rule number 4, the color scheme. Try to use the maximum of three colors on your plate, including the color of the plate itself. Here are a few examples of good and bad color combinations. In the first example, we will see some beautiful blue Greek ravioli served on a simple white clean plate. You will see this ravioli, they're striking out of the plate and you know exactly what the main ingredient is going be, back to our previous rule. There is an addition for a couple of more toned down colors in the form of pink foam and brown vegetable stock. Here is an example of not such a great color combination. Not even talking about the whole arrangement on the plate, there are too many colors. There is brown, there is red, there is green, there is yellow. The blue of the plate itself. It looks too clutted. It looks too messy. In order to fix this, first of all, I would go for a white plate. This is my general advice for the starting and young cooks. Go for the white canvas. Experiment, it will give you more options to test out different plating styles, to have more colorful foods and then once you feel confident, you can scale up and move on to the colorful plates as well. Rule number 5, everything on the plate should be edible. Yes there are some people that might feel okay with having some non-edible items on your plate. But there are a lot of chefs, a lot of critics out there that will stand firmly by this rule. This can be simply explained by, if you are serving something non-edible to your guests, to your friends, and you fail to explicitly explain to them this is not edible. They might just end up eating it and this will end up in a huge disaster. There is one general exception, however, to this rule and this comes when serving some shellfish. Serving some seashells and whatever is under those seashells is generally considered okay when it comes to plating. Rule number 6, cut your food in sizes that reflect the way you want people to eat your food. If you want people to cut your food, there should be a really good reason for that. Here are some of the reasons. First of all, to showcase the whole beauty and the freshness of your ingredient that simply won't be visible if you cut it into small pieces. Or maybe to allow your guests to get that extra crunch out of the dish or feel the juiciness of the steak. Sometimes also to add to that show element and contribute to the whole experience of the dinner. Rule number 7, there should be an overall unity and harmony on the plate, as we discussed before, don't over-clutter and overcrowd the plate with different garnishes. Know and emphasize your main ingredient. If in doubt, always do less. Use this sophisticated simplicity principle here. There should be an overall harmony of the colors of aromas, of hearing, of shapes on the plate the same as there should be harmony or flavors. Here's a perfect example of a harmonious and balanced the plaiting. There is a limited amount of colors on the plate. Although the main ingredient, which is a salmon tartare, is a little bit covered with crunchy green leaves to contribute to the texture and the color scheme of the plate. We know that the main ingredient is the salmon tartare. Here is not such a great example of a harmonious plating. There are too many colors on the plate, there are too many ingredients. A lot of them are crunchy, so they don't contribute anything unique. A lot of them are sweet or sweeter, so they all are competing for the first place on this plate. Overall, it ends up in being a little bit messy. Rule number 8, consider the overall look and size of the plate. A commonly accepted size of the main course served on a very large plate, may seem like that there is not enough food on this plate and your guest might end up feeling hungry afterwards. While as an unusually shaped plate, very beautiful can elevate the simplest of the dishes. Rule number 9, arrangement of ingredients on the plate, also known as plating trends, they come and go. The same as fashion trends do. It's very important to develop your own style of plating over time, instead of always jumping on different fashion trends. Although it might be lots of fun, and you might as well try it out. Here are a couple of examples of plating that is super trendy, super fashionable right now. For example, some geometrical shapes and also some arrangements that can be encountered in the nature as well. On the contrast, here's an example of something that was extremely fashionable, extremely popular a few years ago, but now it's considered out of fashion. The final one, not quite a rule of plating, more of an extra tip from me to you. When you're thinking about garnishes for your main ingredient, think about trims and scraps from the main ingredient. Not only the flavors would match and complement each other, but also it will be more sustainable and cost-effective. 11. BONUS: Food flavour elevation techniques: This is not quite a lesson to be expected of an introductory culinary course. This is more of a bonus piece of information intended to inspire you to create and experiment into your culinary journey. Flavor elevation techniques, those are the culinary techniques that will enhance and elevate your dishes from the ordinary and expected to the next level. By using these techniques, you can take the simplest of ingredients, modify them, and transform into something that will surprise and impress your guests. You don't necessarily need to use those techniques, and you definitely shouldn't use all of them at once. But the knowledge of those flavors enhancement techniques will give you more freedom and power to create in the kitchen. Number 1, fermentation, a chemical process during which the microorganisms that have been present in food, or sometimes they can also be externally introduced, will convert carbohydrates (remember our nutrition lesson) into alcohol and other organic acids. During this process, the foods that are being fermented may change in color, in shape, in aroma, in texture, and definitely they will change in their taste. Fermentation of foods is as old as the cooking itself. It's the process of fermentation that gives the yeasty breads it's puffy shape and texture, and such a unique and so hard to replicate umami flavor and taste to the age cheeses. Many chefs, however, try to look beyond the commonly accepted examples of fermentation and they experiment a lot in their kitchens with fermenting other products. If fermentation, however, is something new to you and you haven't done it before, try with a simple lactose fermentation. There will be a recipe available in the workbook that comes with this course. Number 2, spices and herbs. The usage of spices and herbs could be the least time-consuming and the most accessible technique that you can choose to master in order to elevate your dishes. However, as easy as it may seem, it's not, because it's even easier to get overwhelmed with a huge variety of spices and herbs available for cooking, and maybe even overuse them. Remember that whichever spices you choose to use, they are not the main ingredient, they are added in order to enhance the flavor over the main ingredient, not to hide it. It's also important to know that different spices, they open up differently in different dishes. Some of them need to be added at the beginning of cookie and some in the middle and some in the end. So it's very important to know how different spices act and interact during the cooking process. Finally, don't forget to explore various techniques of using spices, such as tossing them on a hot pan in order to open up even more complex aromas and flavors inside. Number 3, the magical Trio; sugar, salt, and acid. This trio of ingredients is a cheat among the culinary techniques and it's something that's been very widely used in the fast-food industry. That's what makes fast-food so tempting for us and we always want more. Try to use this combination next time you're cooking something very simple, like a bowl of rice, and you will notice a significant difference that it creates. Number 4, smoking, also a very widely used technique among the more rustic styles of cooking. Think about the famous Texas smoked barbecued meat. There are two types of smoking of foods out there: the hot smoking and the cold smoking. Those obviously happen at two different temperatures, so they impact the flavor and the appearance of food in two different ways. Nowadays, new cool culinary tools such as the smoking gun allow us to use this rustic technique into more modern interpretations. When you're thinking about smoking, think outside the box full of meat. Think about smoking cheeses, beverages, breads, ice cream. Nowadays you can smoke everything. Number 5, molecular gastronomy, my specialty. When using molecular gastronomy principles in cooking, chefs have been able to create some show-stopping dishes, often with daring appearances, those that do not give away at all how the food tastes, so one needs to try it out in order find out how exactly it tastes, such as cappuccino borscht or spherified tomato juice. It may all seem super fancy, but in essence, molecular gastronomy is just the food science. It doesn't necessarily introduce new chemically produced elements into the food in order to manipulate its flavor and appearance. Instead, it's more of a studies the naturally occurring processes inside the foods when they are being cooked in order to manipulate them further. Even if you think it's not your thing, studying molecular gastronomy and food science will make you a better chef simply because you will be questioning every single ingredient on the recipe and learning more about culinary techniques and less focusing on the written recipes. Curing, marinating, and brining. Although different, all three of these culinary techniques change the flavor and texture of foods in desirable ways, and sometimes also aroma and appearance. One of the key ingredients in all of three of these techniques is salt. Salt pulls away the water content present in foods during the osmosis process and denatures the proteins present and thus increases the water holding capacity of these foods. Think about cured salmon and the difference between regular fried chicken and marinated fried chicken. Infusion. This is a very powerful culinary technique and it may take time and extra supervision to infuse liquids with different flavors, but it's totally worth it. It's also a great way to utilize different ingredients in your kitchen and move towards a more sustainable cooking. Think of cream infused with used coffee grinds or corn oil or canola oil infused with different spices and garlic, or butter infused with shrimp peels. Those infusions, they give these simple ingredients completely different flavors that are more complex; don't you agree? Dehydration, another time-consuming process because dehydration usually happens at low temperatures for a very long period of time. But since it takes so much time, it doesn't necessarily need so much of supervision. Dehydration also gives your dishes more complex textures and more deep flavors because when it's done right, the water content is being pulled out of the foods and the flavors are being concentrated. Thanks to dehydration, you can convert some foods into its dry or even powdered versions, and then add them to the dishes in a way that they are not visually present, but very much present in flavor. Think about tzatziki rocks. Sous vide, my favorite one. I'm a firm believer that every single kitchen, especially the professional kitchens, should be using sous vide. It's such a time and hassle saver. Sous vide is a French word that means "under vacuum". But what it essentially is, is a setup of the immersion circulator and a water bath that is being used to cook foods that are being most oftenly enclosed into sealed and vacuum bags. There are many benefits of using sous vide. But in the frame of this flavor enhancements topic, its main benefit is that it allows chefs to have a full control over the water content, juiciness, temperature, and the overall end flavor of the product. The last one, confit, may as well be the oldest culinary technique that we have listed so far. Confit is the cooking method when the food is being fully submerged and cooked inside the liquid fat. This process takes time, just like sous vide does, and it provides a very controlled cooking environments with juicier results in meats. The fun benefit of confit is that it gives you the precious byproduct, infused oils and fats, that you can reuse again in other culinary applications. 12. Final thoughts: That's it guys. We've been through a lot during this course and you may feel right now overwhelmed with all this information. That's okay, I have the full confidence in you. You're going to make it, you're going to master it, and you're going to improve your culinary skills with this information. But that's just the top of the iceberg. If you want to get more culinary education, make sure to follow me here as an instructor on Skillshare, there will be more courses coming up soon and you don't want to miss them. Make sure to drop a comment here describing what you liked about this course and what you want to learn in the next one. Finally, download the workbook from the resources section that I've carefully prepared for you and check out that course assignments from the project section. Theory is not much without practice, so do try to make this course assignment and share your results. I'm so excited to see what's your cooking style and what you are really capable of in the kitchen with all the culinary knowledge. You're my cooking hero! Have fun and I'll see you in the next course. 13. Knife Sharpening All in One: In this lesson, I'm going to teach you a skill that any professional chef, any serious home cook, must know and excel it. I'm going to teach you how to sharpen your knife First, I'm going to showcase you the whole technique and show how to do it, and then I'm going to answer the frequently asked questions. Let me teach you how to sharpen your knife like a professional chef. In order to sharpen your knife like a chef efficiently, you're going to need at least two wet stones or double sided wet stones like I have with 240 grids and 800 grids afterwards for polishing. Preferably you're also going to have another wet stone with about 6,000 grids. The first thing you want to do with them is to soak them in cold water for at 40 minutes. Once your stones are soaked, you would want to set up your workstation. The first thing that goes on your table is non slip met. You can also use a towel, but it's quite a dirty business. As you can see. You might want to have a special non slip met that you're going to use only for knife sharpening. Next you want to put the stand for your stone. Usually they're sold together with the stones. If you don't have one, no waters, you can put the stone right on top of your non slip met. But I have one. So I'm going to use then we're going to use first the 240 grids stone. And you want to put it right on top and secure it like this, it's not moving. Next step we're going to put a little bit of water on top of the stone. And while we are sharpening, we want to make sure that the stone is always wet, not too much. Otherwise everything is going to start moving regardless of the non slip met. And also you want to make sure that your knife is wet. So now for every further stage of knife sharpening, we're going to use the same technique. Take a knife and put it with a blade away from you. I know that some chefs use it the other way around, but I find this way is better. It's more safe and more efficient. And put it on top of the stone at a 25 degrees angle. The three fingers from your other hand and place them in the middle of the knife, somewhere towards the edge, but not too. Then we can start actually sharpening the knife with back and forth movements like this against the stone. While pressing knife down with your three fingers, but also holding it very strongly with your other hand, making sure that the angle doesn't change. Once you do one part of the blade, then you can move on and do the next section. Once you sharpened, you went through the whole blade. You also want to sharpen the tip of your knife. And you're going to do it like this by changing the angles, but don't press it too much, otherwise you're going to ruin the tip. Place the whole blade on the stone like this and kind of like spread your fingers like so. And just sharpen this way. I prefer to do a combination. I first do like this throughout the whole blade, and then I change it up just to make sure, okay, one side is done. Now, we're going to change the side of the blade, change the hands, and repeat exactly the same thing for the other side. Now we are done with sharpening the knife on 240 grids stone. Next you want to switch up your stones and take the 800 grids or I'm just going to switch up the sides like this and repeat exactly the same thing. Exactly the same knife sharpening technique on this new stone. Okay, finally we're going to move on to the final stage of our knife sharp. We're going to use our last stone, the 6,000 stone, to finish up everything and make our knife smooth and sharp. This one might be tricky, It's a soft stone, and in this case, you would really want to hold your knife in a very strong position without changing the angles. Otherwise, you're definitely going to ruin the stone and you want to sharpen the stone itself afterwards. Don't do that. Otherwise you continue exactly the same technique. All right, our knife is done. It's as sharp as it could be. The very last thing you want to do, you would want to clean it with soap. Very well. To remove all the stains and all the grids from the wets stone. To finalize this knife sharpening tutorial, I would like to answer a couple of frequently asked questions. One of them would be, how many times do you need to do this back and forth motions when you sharpen your knife? Well, that depends on how sharp or dull your knife is. Obviously, the dull it is, the more often you want to repeat these motions until your blade becomes sharp enough. The second question is, how often do you need to sharpen your knife in this manner? This also depends on how often do you use your knife. If you use it every day in your kitchen and you cook three times a day or more, then I would suggest to sharpen your knife like this, at least once a week, or maybe once in two weeks. The third question is how to sharpen your stones? How to fix your stones in case you mess them up a little bit. And this I'm going to show you in order to sharpen your stones or fix them up, which you need to do from time to time, You are going to take 1 stone and then you're going to take another one. I'm using 6,000 grids against the 240 grids and you're going to rub them against each other, like so the 240 degrees, 40 grids is sharpening the 6,000 grid stone like this and now your stones are almost like in you and ready to go again.