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Peter Kump/ Institute of Culinary Education


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#1 Susan in FL

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 10:46 AM

You taught at Peter Kump's New York Cooking School, now called the Institute of Culinary Education... How did you like that job? I am assuming you taught there early on and he was still living. Was he visible, playing an active role in the operations of the school?
I am quite a Peter Kump fan, and was so saddened when he died.
Back in the olden days of the now defunct Prodigy online service, on the food boards, we had Peter as a "Guest Chef" -- kind of like a smaller, older version of your being here on eG with us now. In a regular thread, separate from the question and answer area, I posted a recipe request for new ideas on first-course pasta dishes. Much to my delight he responded, and that recipe has long been a favorite of mine, with variations and modifications through the years. (I've been meaning to post that recipe in RecipeGullet. Maybe the thought of it now will prompt me!)
Do you know if his memory lives on in the ICE today?
Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

#2 Sara Moulton

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 01:18 PM

I worked at Peter Kump's (now called the Institute for Culinary Education)in the mid eighties. I was hired by Peter himself who at the time had no actual cooking facility, just a few rental apartments where he and other teachers would conduct classes. I taught the avocational classes about twice a week. The only difference between them and the professional was that they were held once a week, not five days a week. Other than that the curriculum was the same.
And the curriculum was amazing. I had graduated from the CIA in 1977 and really thought I had gotten the best education but I realized when I started at Kump's that there was one important lesson I had missed: taste. Back then they didn't teach us how to taste at the CIA.
The first night of techniques 1 we started by showing the students how to use a knife (always a perilous undertaking). Then we had each one of them make the same vinaigrette, 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. The oil was all the same but the vinegar (acid) was different for every student. Wow, what an eye opener! As many egullet readers already know, balsamic is not very acidic, nor is rice vinegar, whereas lemon juice is extremetly acidic. So some of the vinaigrettes seemed perfectly balanced and some were too acidic or too oily. Up until then I just went with the 3 to 1 ratio and never really tasted or thought about what I was doing. We also tasted flat leaf vs curly parsley, fresh vs processed cream cheese, etc.
I loved teaching. The excitement of the students, learning how to cook for the first time, was contagious. For me, a little jaded after 7 years in the industry, it was like falling in love again. I discovered I was good at it too. I had always meant to be an elementary school teacher and this wasn't much different. That knowledge helped me when I was getting media trained. The trainer said in great frustration after 2 days, "Come on tell me why you should be on tv, there has got to be some compelling reason that will help you to relax and forget the cameras," and suddenly I realized what it was - I was a great teacher.
I was very impressed with Peter. He was a protege of Simone Back and learned a great deal from her. I do not think he was properly appreciated then or now. The curriculum at the school has been changed completely. It is still a good school, don't get me wrong, but I wish they had kept some of the old curriculum.
Sara Moulton

#3 Chris Amirault

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 01:23 PM

I had graduated from the CIA in 1977 and really thought I had gotten the best education but I realized when I started at Kump's that there was one important lesson I had missed: taste. Back then they didn't teach us how to taste at the CIA.

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That is absolutely fascinating to me! I thought that there was always a culture at CIA involving constant tasting, you know, with the little spoons in the front pocket to discourage finger-slurping. Can you say more?

Of course, another way to ask this question would be: "Wha?!? The CIA didn't teach you about taste?!"
Chris Amirault
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#4 Sara Moulton

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 07:52 AM

I had graduated from the CIA in 1977 and really thought I had gotten the best education but I realized when I started at Kump's that there was one important lesson I had missed: taste. Back then they didn't teach us how to taste at the CIA.

View Post


That is absolutely fascinating to me! I thought that there was always a culture at CIA involving constant tasting, you know, with the little spoons in the front pocket to discourage finger-slurping. Can you say more?

Of course, another way to ask this question would be: "Wha?!? The CIA didn't teach you about taste?!"

View Post


It is totally different now than it was then. They always emphasized proper seasoning with salt and pepper (although you want to know something astonishing? back then the only salt we used was plain old iodized table salt) - but they didn't teach us about ingredients the way I know they do now. It was technique, technique, technique.
Sara Moulton