Just a Little Thought for Food

Convenience of Inconvenience?
My second lab at Johnson and Wales was Introduction to Cake Decorating and Petit Fours. On our very first day, we examined the use of convenience products in the work place. We tested out a chocolate and vanilla cake mix and a chocolate fudge icing.

All of previous experience in the kitchen revolves around cakes. All of the cakes I that I make are a light sponge cake with a swiss buttercream. I have always thought that using a cake mix, of any kind, was an unconceivable sin. That no professional with some tinge of a reputable palate would accept a cake, or any dessert, made from a mix.

Giving it a second chance…maybe not
During that first hour or so my thoughts were only strengthened. Pouring pounds of chemical-smelling yellow powder and water into our large hobarts only left me with look of disgust on my face. Even though my disgust outweighed my curiosity, I still kept an open mind about what the finished product would be.

After the caked had cooled, we used the canned fudge icing to finish our cakes. Not only was the fudge icing an unnatural almost-black color, but trying to finish a cake with something the consistency of play dough was practically impossible.

And the votes are in
At the end of class we were finally able to taste our finished product. Although the cake looked the same as a scratch made cake, the taste was definitely not the same. The overbearing sweetness and taste of preservatives only made me want an entire glass of milk for each small bite I took. All in all, my classmates and I all agreed that our original assumptions were correct, that using a cake mix just is not okay in our books.

During our discussion and dissection of the convenience cake, we all agreed that we would never use a convenience product. That it was a sort of a cop-out, an insult to our culinary education.

Later that day, I got to thinking more about it. Yes, some convenience products don’t belong in a professional kitchen (such as a cake mix or powdered pastry cream), that they are more of a help than a hinder. How many kitchens do you know who makes their own puff pastry? What about jams or jellies? Dried pasta? Salad dressings?

There are many products that are used even in the most prestigious kitchens that can be considered convenience products. My thoughts are this; convenience products can really help your business, you just need to know which to use. While I think that making your own cake from scratch is a must, using a ready to use preservative can save you time and money.

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 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.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            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.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            3 Program(s) Found
            • 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.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found

            Sullivan University is a private institution of higher learning dedicated to providing educational enrichment opportunities for the intellectual, social and professional development of its students. The institution offers career-focused curricula with increasing rigor from the certificate through diploma, associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree levels. Throughout those curricula, the university seeks to promote the development of critical thinking, effective verbal and written communication, computer literacy, and teamwork as well as an appreciation for life-long learning, cultural diversity and the expression of professionalism in all activities. At the graduate level, the university also seeks to promote a culture of research.

            1 Program(s) Found
            • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months or bachelor’s degree in the food service management field in 2.5 years through their year-round schedule.
            • Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
            • Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
            • Hosts regular career fairs for employer recruitment.
            • Has student housing available.
            • Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
            Show more [+]
            1 Program(s) Found
            Salter College , West Boylston
            • Offers training programs in preparation for professional careers in business, health care, and computers.
            • Provides associate and certificate programs in medical assisting, massage therapy, culinary arts, and more.
            • Places students in externships to gain real world experience before completing their respective program.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
            • 2 campuses in Chicopee and West Boylston, Massachusetts.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            4 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
            Show more [+]