Careers for gourmets & others who relish food by Mary Deirdre Donovan

By Mary Deirdre Donovan

Discusses the learning and abilities wanted for a culinary profession and describes various attainable careers, together with nutritionist, recipe tester, gourmand meals store proprietor, eating place supervisor, and nutrients chemist.

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We are no longer a nation of meat, potatoes and apple pie eaters. We want good vegetables and fruit, good cheese and good prepared products. How has all of this evolved? First of all it was the passion shared by a few food enthusiasts such as Julia Child, James Beard, Craig Claiborne, Elizabeth David, and Alice Waters. All of them were exposed to the foods of France and Italy in some manner and decided that America needed change in its eating habits. And change it has had! There are many young people today who find they share that passion and are finding their way into satisfying and rewarding careers.

A certain flair, a knack for combining interesting colors, textures, and temperatures on a single plate, and a talent for balancing on that fine line between faddish and trendy are all tricks that are found in the bag of the truly talented chef. There won't always be someone standing at your shoulder, asking you if you remembered to put the garnish on the plate, or reminding you that the carrots go on the left and the sauce on the bottom. It is important to have a vivid appreciation of beautiful things so that you can begin to draw inspiration from what is around you.

Some of the items may be identical to those required by the sauté cook, while others are uniquely suited to the demands of this particular station. The grill cook will probably use some of the same basic sauces, such as fond de veau, tomato sauce, or hollandaise. In addition, she will need to prepare compound butters, flavored oils, marinades, glazes, barbecue sauces, and other items used to give additional flavor to foods as they grill. The mise en place will typically include oil to lubricate both the foods being cooked and the rods of the grill, in addition to all of the prepared sauces.

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