The "A Ha" Moment
As a teacher at a culinary school, one of the greatest and most rewarding moments is when students experience an "A Ha" moment right in front of your face. It's a lot of fun to know that you just managed to bridge a gap in understanding by a certain combination of spoken words or actions made.
Last week, I was up in front of my classroom full of eager culinary students, demonstrating a classic French sauce called Bechamel. For newcomers to Le Cordon Bleu, the initial discussion of the repertoire of classic French preparations known as the "mother", or primary, sauces can be confusing and intimidating. Each of these sauces is steeped in tradition, and demands a fairly specific set of ingredients being combined in a time honored way. As I cooked butter and flour together to make the white roux, then used it to thicken the milk I had infused with onion, bay leaf, and clove, I looked around at my students and saw a bunch of blank stares. I could feel that they were all thinking something along the lines of "that's weird".
Once the sauce simmered gently for the proper amount of time, and had transformed itself into the satiny, creamy concoction we know as Bechamel, I could sense that my students were about to have a revelation en masse. As with most of the "mother" sauces, Bechamel requires straining through a fine mesh sieve to render it absolutely velvet smooth. I seasoned the sauce to taste, and had every one of my students taste it. This is where many of them experienced the "A Ha" moment. One of them proclaimed, "This kind of reminds me of the sausage gravy I make with my biscuits." Another said, "That's a lot like the Alfredo Sauce recipe I made the other night." And a third stated, "Couldn't we make it thicker and then use it as a souffle base?" One even asked, "If it were really thick, could it be used to bind croquettes and fritters?" As I answered "Yes" to every one of those questions, and then proceeded to talk the rest of them through the many everyday uses of this classic sauce, I knew they had all just crossed that bridge to a place where a previously vague concept had become a solid piece of useful knowledge.
Featured Culinary Schools
- Its first location, in Paris, officially opened its doors as a culinary school in 1895.
- Teaches students by having them spend significant time in the kitchen practicing precision techniques.
- Provide hands-on training from instructors who are certified, master chefs.
- Offer flexible schedules and online programs.
- Has 30 schools worldwide, spanning 5 continents, including 17 campuses in the U.S.
- Online Courses
- Flexible Scheduling
- Financial Aid
- Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
- Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
- Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
- Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
- Online Courses
- Offers more than 150 self-paced, career-relevant programs that are connected to a supportive 24/7 online community of students and faculty.
- Profiled in many publications such as The Boston Globe, Fox Business, and Inside Higher Ed.
- Nearly 25,000 graduates each year.
- Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
- Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania
- Online Courses