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Creative ways of teaching cookery


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#1 joshblackledge

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:54 AM

My name is Josh and I'm an architecture masters student currently studying in Canterbury, England, UK. I'm doing a design and research project (only theoretical) into how unemployed people within our community could be retrained in cookery to learn valuable new skills and become integral figures in their community. I was wondering if anyone has any fun ideas of how you think people could be taught cookery in unconventional ways….

This is purely speculative research and doesn't have to be practical in any way (I'm not worried about cost, space required etc) I'm just interested in ways that cookery has never been taught before. I want to look into experiences that people could have on their cookery school journey. Here are some examples I've come up with so far that would be fun….

Survival cookery…
Groups of students enter an area designed to look like an area of ancient woodland, smells of the woods and various fruit and vegetable smells are pumped into the space and gradually the students realise that there is food living all around them, vegetables, fruits, animals. All they are given is a rucksack with sleeping equipment. Their challenge is to create delicious meals from the food they find around them. If they want they can use meat but it's running around so they'll have to catch it first! How many people would still choose meat over vegetables if they had to kill it first? This activity raises ethical questions as well as making students use ingredients they may have not chosen unless forced to in order to survive.

Flavour identification..
To really learn and appreciate flavours of different ingredients the students senses are restricted. Students enter a laboratory and are presented with ingredients that have all been reduced to liquid and using a centrifuge, separated. Even colours are altered. Students are asked to create soups and cocktails using the test tubes presented to them. Will they find flavours that go well together without any previous assumptions of which flavours are traditionally mixed together?

I thought that this might be something that might interest you guys and I would really appreciate any ideas that you have, no matter how crazy or mundane they might seem. I'm really interested in how cookery can be taught in very fun and interesting ways. It's important to note that these fun activities would obviously be backed up with traditional methods where needed but i think that a large amount of cookery can be learned through experiences, like the ones I've mention above.

Thanks for reading this and i hope to hear from you soon

#2 CharlieHorse

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:44 PM

I'm a subscriber of the idea the cooking is a labor of love, not just of the craft but a love of good food. For instance, I learned to make beer because I like good beer. To learn to cook, one first has to learn to taste. Going back to beer, I taste every type of grain that I use before I crush it. That way I can get an idea what the finnished product will taste like. When I'm cooking an ingredient that I'm not familiar with, I taste it raw.

The point that I'm trying to make is to teach your student to taste what they're making and make things that they enjoy eating. Often times, if somebody can see how simple something that they like is to cook, they're more likely to explore dishes they have never tried.

I'm sure that you could steal borrow from some of the cooking shows and make games out of it. Think surviver, only you don't get rid of anybody, you reward the winning team/cooks.