How to Become a Chef in France | Jonell Galloway

How to Become a Chef in France

By Saturday, January 9, 2016 Permalink

How to Become a Chef in France

by Jonell Galloway

Schooling Required

Becoming a chef in France requires a long commitment, both in terms of schooling and on-the-job training. The program is similar to that of a vocational school, but requires many years of on-the-job experience before one can be called “chef.”

A typical French kitchen brigade looks like the diagram below. To become a chef, you basically have to work your way up from the bottom. Each level in the hierarchy may take a few years to master. It all looks rather daunting, but the French start young, around the age of 14, with chefs following what is referred to as a vocational track rather than a general high school.

Typical kitchen brigade in France

After Troisième or 8th/9th Grade

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How to Become a Chef in France | Jonell Galloway

Still Life with Flowers and Fruit, by Pierre Auguste Renoir

By Monday, January 4, 2016 Permalink

Quintessential France: Still Life with Flowers and Fruit, by Pierre Auguste Renoir.

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The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.

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— Julia Child
How to Become a Chef in France | Jonell Galloway

What is Bourgeois Cuisine?

By Saturday, January 2, 2016 Permalink

What to Eat in France: What is Bourgeois Cuisine?

by Jonell Galloway

French cuisine is much more than the haute cuisine inherited from the nobility. It is also the tasty, inexpensive cuisine that French families eat every day, called cuisine bourgeoise, or “bourgeois cuisine.”

We all learned in school that “bourgeois” was a social class. Originally, it was what we now call the “middle class,” as opposed to the nobility and the poor and working classes. The bourgeoisie, or middle class, grew rapidly in France after the French Revolution.

In terms of cooking, the bourgeois weren’t rich enough to use expensive ingredients and their cooking skills were not as highly developed as those of the aristocrats’ chefs, but they had sufficient means to entertain friends and family. This cuisine came to be known as cuisine bourgeoise, which today simply means family cooking, tasty but not pretentious, as opposed to the haute cuisine of the elite.

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How to Become a Chef in France | Jonell Galloway

Biscuit Therapy and Modern Salt

By Saturday, January 2, 2016 Permalink

by Jonell Galloway

In Loss There is Nourishment: A Southern Biscuit Story

One has to be able to work the dough intimately; it is like making love and following every move of your lover. Timing is of the utmost importance. The symphony of movements is different with every batch, and one has to be in step with every beat. A bit more flour, a bit more lard, just enough air pockets, stop, stop. It’s about perfect harmony, ending on a perfect note, at the perfect moment; it’s fast-moving and playful like a scherzo, and, like a live piano concert, once you’ve hit a wrong note, there’s no going back.

Every Southerner has a biscuit story. Biscuits are what bind us and make us Southern, whether they are slathered with sticky blackstrap molasses or sausage gravy. When we say we miss the South, we are missing a wooden swing on a front porch, beads of sweat running down our foreheads, and a welcome breeze bringing a waft of biscuits cooking; we are missing the sound of the oven door opening and of hearing the biscuits coming hot out of our mothers’ ovens, calling us to supper, calling us home.

This is the introduction to my first article for the British publication Modern Salt, published by Penny Averill.

Click here to read the rest: Biscuit Therapy.

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