Invest time in your knowledge? This is your chance!
Are you the kind of person who always has your nose in a book or are you just happy to switch off after a long day of hard work? We all know that maintaining your knowledge is essential, but the hectic time spent in the kitchen often doesn't allow you to. So during this lockdown, isn't this the perfect opportunity for you to invest some extra time in broadening your knowledge base?
Now or never!
Although it may seem far away right now, the day will come when the hospitality industry will be allowed to open up again. You can already predict that people will make up for the "loss" en masse. You can therefore expect your restaurant to get very busy again. The chance that you still have time to update yourself technically is virtually nil. So, why not take some time right now to refresh or expand your knowledge? You can easily do this in so many ways. If you’re one of those who find it difficult to commit to intensive study, then simply start off with only one hour a day. Do you have children who need to do virtual lessons? Take a leaf out of their book and dive into your own online and offline resources while they’re studying.
Bits or books?
We’re not going to discuss here which is better, digital or paper, bits & bites or books. There will probably be something useful to say about both options by supporters and opponents alike, but above all, go with what suits you best. For most people, a combination of both always works well. Do you prefer "fast knowledge" on the internet or do you rather studying books more in depth? You might be stubborn enough to make the preferred choice, but we ask: why not enjoy the best of both worlds?
Go and flip through that Larousse or Escoffier again or dig out your old school books and just see what grabs you. There’s no doubt that you will come across preparations or recipes that you have long since forgotten. You might even find out what exactly happens when you fry a piece of meat, boil an egg or when you whip cream. Dig a little further on the internet and fill in the last few gaps in your knowledge base. You can be sure that the experience will enrich you.
"A combination of different sources is always good," fast knowledge "on the Internet and the deeper reading of books."
There are countless books available and we are certainly not going to be the reviewer of them all. In the Gastronomixs Test Kitchen, we have a number of books that we refer to all the time, which always help us when we’re faced with a question or challenge. Our Golden Tip: The McGee! You may already have it, but if not, then go and buy it immediately. This valuable standard work is chock full of all the scientific backgrounds to cooking techniques and ingredients. Challenge yourself to read through at least one topic every day. Even if you find the material tough at times, stick with it as it will really help you progress. On the commodity knowledge pages, we regularly refer to interesting pieces in the McGee, so it comes in handy anyway.
Want to plan ahead?
Do you feel that you have to choose between working per day or planning ahead for your new seasonal or set menus? Remember, you can always combine them. Take a look in our product calendar to see what’s in season, for example, in August, and see the various ingredients, the underlying product knowledge and the many components per item from there. This way you will be well prepared for the busy times to come and… … a whole lot smarter too!
5 ways to go in depth
In addition to a tool for creativity, a lot of (product) knowledge can also be found on Gastronomixs, most of which are short articles with many handy tips and beautiful visuals. Here, we have summed up the 5 ways for you.
- Product knowledge
Originally developed for culinary schools, but nowadays, used just as much by professional chefs of all levels. Refresh your memory about the different parts of the cow again or to which family does the asparagus actually belong?
- Product calender
Seasonal dishes may have faded immensely, but it can still be a huge source of inspiration to follow nature when compiling your dishes and menus. Take a look at the product calendar and start planning ahead by one or more seasons.
In addition to the finest ingredients, you also have access to a range of equipment and materials. Are you making the most of what you already have? Delving into techniques such as fermenting, preserving or smoking, for example, can be a great source of inspiration and delight!
- World flavours
What do you actually know about Indian cuisine? What are the classics of Peruvian cuisine? The wholesalers are full of the most delicious products from all around the world, and now is the time to shop around and make new components and dishes using what you can source in your local area.
Almost every month we publish a blog with interesting background information. Go to blog in the menu and scroll through it. We’re sure that you will find something interesting that you want to know more about!
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