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8 Essential Kitchen Skills You’ll Learn During Culinary Training in San Jose

8 Essential Kitchen Skills You’ll Learn During Culinary Training in San Jose

Everybody eats, but not everyone knows how to cook. Even fewer people know how to cook in a professional setting. This lack of knowledge closes the door on millions of possible jobs, which can be found literally in almost every community on the planet.

The secret to finding your way into these kitchens and onto the path of a secure career is to attend a culinary job training program. Culinary training in San Jose gives you the skills and base level experience you need to start cooking from the moment you finish your program.

Over 2 million people currently work as cooks and chefs in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The restaurant and food service industry is projected to add 282,000 more jobs in the next nine years, with an 11% growth rate that’s much faster than the average career path.

There are also a host of other jobs you could be qualified for once you complete your San Jose culinary arts program. Your knowledge of sanitation can help you become a food safety worker, and everything you learn about nutrition can put you on the path towards being a food, nutrition, and diet professional.

Jump into the next stage of your life in an exciting cooking career once you’ve acquired the following eight essential kitchen skills from your culinary training program:

How to Talk and Work Like a Pro

Every job has its own vocab, and kitchens are particularly heavy with the special terminology. During the first few weeks of coursework, you’ll immerse yourself in the language cooks use to get business done.

You’ll also find your way around basic kitchen tools, including some of the ones most overlooked in home kitchens: measuring utensils. 

“Kitchen math” requires you to be able to perfectly measure out all the needed ingredients and make conversions on the fly. After just a few weeks, you’ll find that you’re better able to make perfect portions and have everything come out just as the recipe intended.

How to Cook Safely, Effectively, Efficiently, and Consistently

You’ll want to keep all of your fingers in any job, but it’s especially important in an industry that’s all about using your hands.

To keep you safe in the kitchen, you will learn safe techniques for holding knives and other sharp tools that are vital to the cooking process. Your technique instruction includes lessons on how to keep your fingers safely out of the way and how to keep your arm steady. These techniques ensure consistent but quick cuts that give you the exact preparation needed for the task at hand.

You’ll also learn other vital lessons about how to move about the kitchen in a safe yet productive way. Some of the most important job skills for kitchen work include learning how to navigate a crowded space, how to apply seasonings effectively, and how to use the various tools and methods of the trade to start prepping amazing dishes.

Get a Working Knowledge of the Foundations of Great Meals

There’s infinite variety in the culinary world, which is part of what makes it so exciting.

At the same time, there’s bound to be a handful of basic ingredients and recipe building blocks on any given menu. Learning these can put you well on your way towards creating most modern American cuisine, and it’ll give you a real sense of purpose every time you enter the pantry.

Examples of basic culinary building blocks include cold and hot sandwiches, cold and hot salads, dressings, appetizers, and a host of easy-to-prep vegetable recipes. Your lessons will also cover the basics of presentation, so that even the simplest meal can sparkle.

Familiarize Yourself with Methods of Cooking Found in Most Kitchens

Cooking’s tools of the trade include a wide range of pots, pans, grill tops, barbeques and other heating devices. Each one has its own set of rules and principles that help make food delicious.

At your culinary courses in San Jose, you’ll learn how to grill, saute, broil, boil, fry, and even barbeque your food to perfection. These methods include dry heat, wet heat, moist heat, and other cooking techniques handed down through generations.

Master the Basics of Baking

Baking is cooking with chemistry. It’s an art and a science. It demands precise measurements, cook temperatures, times, and preparation techniques.

None of it has to be intimidating, either. Once you learn a few basic principles, you’ll be able to breeze through new recipes. You’ll also achieve better results on your first try — something every baker dreams about.

Learn to bake breads, pastries, sweets, and combination foods that include all of the above along with some extra savory, sweet, or nutritious ingredients.

Understand Sanitation and Prepare for ServSafe Certification

One of the most important parts of working with food is understanding how to keep everything safe. Sanitation is absolutely essential for every step of the process. A clean kitchen makes better food!

During your culinary courses, you’ll learn all about proper storage, cleaning, and food preparation so that no one gets sick. You’ll also learn the practices kitchen managers have to know by heart if they hope to get a decent health score — and stay in business.

Your studies in food safety and sanitation will prepare you to take the manager’s ServSafe Certification test immediately once your course is completed, opening you up to a number of competitive job positions.

Learn How to Make Food Healthier

Part of what makes food “good” isn’t just that it tastes good — it also has to be good for you.

Nutrition lessons allow you to get a better handle on what’s going into your food and how balanced it is from a health standpoint. You’ll also learn how to balance out certain menus or meals with more essential nutrients. That way, if you notice that a dish or menu is protein heavy, for instance, you’ll know what veggies and roughage to add to make it more complete and healthy.

Get “Soft Skills” That Make You a Competitive Hire and a Better Worker

There’s a fine line between workers that are so-so and people everyone wants on their shift. The latter tends to have better skills in communication, job preparedness, and their ability to make decisions when faced with limited resources. 

Basic computing skills are also a must because many modern cooks rely on spreadsheets and POS systems almost as much as their knife skills.

Your San Jose culinary training will not only provide you with these job-ready “soft skills,” it will also help you know how to more effectively seek out (and hopefully lock down) the jobs you want.

The Center for Employment training will teach you how to search for jobs more effectively and understand what positions best match your unique needs and skillset. We’ll help you craft a solid resume and prepare you for interviews, so you can worry less about impressing and worry more about having the right state of mind to get you through the door.

Our ability to prepare students has given us an outstanding reputation with recruiters, such as Samantha Stock-Armellino from Adecco Bay Area Hospitality. She regularly looks to CET program graduates for critical staffing positions near San Jose, like at the Apple Computer offices’ legendary cafeteria.

Dip your toes into the world of dips, salads, and proteins when you visit a culinary class in action at our San Jose campus.

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