Hide or Highlight?

I recently ate a tripe dish that I didn't care for, but I'm guessing my bad experience was different from that of most others who complain about eating cow stomach. The usual gripes are about the texture (chewy), smell (a combination of cat pee and dirty socks when raw) or taste ( cooked improperly, that pee-sock smell becomes a flavor). Despite these descriptions, the stuff is brilliant when its done right. One of the chef instructors at The FCI created a tripe epiphany when he made a tomato-based Spanish tripe stew with chorizo and chickpeas. Braised for hours, the offal was toothsome instead of rubbery, and any cloying organ flavor was perfectly cut by the acidity of tomatoes and zest of Spanish seasoning. I've been in cow stomach love ever since.
I was excited to try the tripe at a nationally renowned restaurant in the DC area, as the chef is known for his deft hand with organ meats. The waitress described the dish as being "lightly fried," a promising new preparation. Yet what arrived at the table could have been veal schnitzel, had I not cracked the seasoned layer of brown crumbs and seen the honeycomb tripe inside. Instead of being prepared in a manner that curbed the tripe's strong organ taste, any rich, primal flavors were masked entirely by the crust. Granted, it was perfectly fried and seasoned meat, which is never a total disappointment. But in an array of phenomenal courses, I was surprised to have the tripe fall comparatively flat.
I would rather the tripe dish have been dreamily sublime instead of thought provoking, but it did bring up the question of the proper way to handle organ meats. Foie gras aside, they are the cheapest, generally least desirable part of an animal. And unlike muscle meat, long, involved processes or heavy handed preparations are typically involved to turn offal wonderful. So the question is, how much does a cook hide, and how much does he highlight, especially when the lower cuts are entering the mainstream as recession specials?

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
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            • Received the 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            • Culinary Arts program includes the 3-week Farm To Table® Experience, where students gain a direct, in-depth look at where food comes from.
            • Numerous scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available to students who qualify.
            • Accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 campuses located in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
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            • First opened its doors in 1980 as the Academy of Medical Art and Business.
            • Students can choose from a variety of diploma or degree programs, as well as continuing education courses.
            • Provides programs in massage therapy, dental assisting, criminal justice, cake decorating, and more.
            • 7.5 acre campus is located in the foothills of Blue Mountain, north of Harrisburg, PA.
            • Involved with many community service organizations, including the Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank (CPBB), March of Dimes, and Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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            L'Ecole Culinaire , Saint Louis
            • Offers educational opportunities for the aspiring, career-minded chef.
            • Students are trained by professional chefs and spend the majority of their final term working in the campus restaurant to learn all phases of the culinary industry.
            • St. Louis campus offers new Food Truck Entrepreneurship courses.
            • Has a student-run food truck that tours around St. Louis.
            • All campuses have a public restaurant where food is prepared and served by students.
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            • Has been training students in the culinary arts since 1946.
            • Teaches hands-on culinary training in French, Asian, Mediterranean, Latin and American cooking, along with professional baking and pastry techniques.
            • Helps students gain professional skills in culinary management.
            • Offers an Italian Culinary Arts program where students get to externship in Italy.
            • Its instructors are respected chefs who put their dedication and life experiences into their instruction.
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