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Zwiefel
01-06-2013, 09:05 PM
I teach some Cooking Demo classes for a local organization....I was asked tonight to start teaching the hands-on knife skills class. I get two hours...and whatever knives the students show up with.

Any ideas on what to teach them?

4 ideas so far:
Guacamole
Raita (yogurt dip)
veg for veg soup (take home + cook)
fruit salad

mc2442
01-06-2013, 09:15 PM
I took a beginning skills course at SLT a while back just to make sure I had the basics down. A lot of discussion around different cuts, making sure you cut a flat surface on the vegetables, cutting tricks, etc.

tk59
01-06-2013, 09:31 PM
basic sharpening, steeling/rodding, stropping including the back of a mug trick
basic knife care (mostly what NOT to do with your knife), how to deal with carbon steel
julienne, dice and mince onion
dicing bell pepper
peel orange (Theory did a cool vid on supremes.), peel pineapple (asian style), peeling anything is cool, actually...
cutting even slices of soft things like cheese and meat
removing silverskin
cutting bunches of things like scallions, etc.
breaking down a chicken
breaking down a fish
dicing up a hard squash

Blobby
01-06-2013, 09:33 PM
I think most (I did) get stumped on how to safely break down great big lumps of vegetable. It's probably the most dangerous one too. Slip off the top of a pumpkin in to your hand and you'll know all about it. I'd say vegetable soup.

tk59
01-06-2013, 09:36 PM
Different grips, advantages and disadvantages.

EdipisReks
01-06-2013, 09:36 PM
basic sharpening, steeling/rodding, stropping including the back of a mug trick
basic knife care (mostly what NOT to do with your knife), how to deal with carbon steel
julienne, dice and mince onion
dicing bell pepper
peel orange (Theory did a cool vid on supremes.), peel pineapple (asian style), peeling anything is cool, actually...
cutting even slices of soft things like cheese and meat
removing silverskin
cutting bunches of things like scallions, etc.
breaking down a chicken
breaking down a fish
dicing up a hard squash

hard to go wrong with that!

Blobby
01-06-2013, 09:58 PM
basic sharpening, steeling/rodding, stropping including the back of a mug trick
basic knife care (mostly what NOT to do with your knife), how to deal with carbon steel
julienne, dice and mince onion
dicing bell pepper
peel orange (Theory did a cool vid on supremes.), peel pineapple (asian style), peeling anything is cool, actually...
cutting even slices of soft things like cheese and meat
removing silverskin
cutting bunches of things like scallions, etc.
breaking down a chicken
breaking down a fish
dicing up a hard squash

Very comprehensive. But in two hours?

SpikeC
01-06-2013, 10:30 PM
You start at the top and see how far down you get. Although I think that silverskin can be well down the list......

Zwiefel
01-06-2013, 10:36 PM
any video on the "back of the mug trick?" I've not seen it before...I can show newspaper though.

daveb
01-06-2013, 10:57 PM
I assist in 2 levels of knife skills classes a couple times a month. Mix of 25% lecture and 75% hands on for level 1. Approx 2.5 hr. Its amazing what people don't know.

Don't know what your food cost constraints are but assume they are part of the equation. We do vegetables and fruit only; carrot, onion, potato, garlic celery, apple, lemon. End of class products are grilled cheese/apple pannini and veg soup or grilled veg sandwich, apple slaw (use mandolin in level 2) and a leek/potato soup thats actually not bad. Have looked at including some proteins but can't make the math work.

Be glad to send you outlines, handouts, etc. Adopt at will.

Regards,

Dave

Jmadams13
01-06-2013, 10:59 PM
any video on the "back of the mug trick?" I've not seen it before...I can show newspaper though.

I was about to ask about back of the mug.

Zwiefel
01-06-2013, 11:00 PM
I assist in 2 levels of knife skills classes a couple times a month. Mix of 25% lecture and 75% hands on for level 1. Approx 2.5 hr. Its amazing what people don't know.

Don't know what your food cost constraints are but assume they are part of the equation. We do vegetables and fruit only; carrot, onion, potato, garlic celery, apple, lemon. End of class products are grilled cheese/apple pannini and veg soup or grilled veg sandwich, apple slaw (use mandolin in level 2) and a leek/potato soup thats actually not bad. Have looked at including some proteins but can't make the math work.

Be glad to send you outlines, handouts, etc. Adopt at will.

Regards,

Dave

I would LOVE the outlines/handouts...that would be awesome...and would mean I owe you 2X now!

Zwiefel
01-06-2013, 11:01 PM
you guys have any thoughts on how much discussion around geometry, profile, steels? I'm thinking I might take my knives and let the students use them to see how much different they are (and what a proper...ok, decent..edge is).

slowtyper
01-06-2013, 11:19 PM
you guys have any thoughts on how much discussion around geometry, profile, steels? I'm thinking I might take my knives and let the students use them to see how much different they are (and what a proper...ok, decent..edge is).

Really depends who you are teaching. If you are teaching culinary students, I would. If you are teaching at a community organization who are trying to get people to cook healthy at home....just stick to teaching how to be efficient and safe.

Zwiefel
01-06-2013, 11:23 PM
Really depends who you are teaching. If you are teaching culinary students, I would. If you are teaching at a community organization who are trying to get people to cook healthy at home....just stick to teaching how to be efficient and safe.

This is definitely moderately interested home cooks...I wouldn't expect them to absorb much of the material, but rather just to get an idea of how much there is to it, and how little of it is discussed at WilliamsSonoma.

Seth
01-06-2013, 11:25 PM
A brief overview of knife types and uses followed by safe and more safe techniques including common mistakes and danger situations.

mc2442
01-07-2013, 12:05 AM
Interesting that everyone brings their own knives. The SLT class I took had shuns galore.

Miles
01-07-2013, 12:20 AM
I teach knife skills classes to the public every month. After a short lecture on knives, knife safety, sharpening, how to use a steel, and basic maintenance and cleaning, we teach them how to dice and julienne onion, dice and batonet potato, dice tomato, supreme two kinds of citrus, chiffonade basil, peel, mince, and make paste of garlic cloves, and peel and dice pineapple. Including the time for them to eat the meal we create with what they cut up, it's a two and a half hour class.

We provide knives, but encourage people to bring their knives from home. It's an interesting mix of cutlery to say the least. Occasionally, you see someone who picked up the sexiest knives SLT or WS had to offer, but mostly, it's a mix of very basic stuff with a decent representation of Wusthof and Henckels and almost every class there's someone who shows up with something from Cutco.

Crothcipt
01-07-2013, 05:56 PM
any video on the "back of the mug trick?" I've not seen it before...I can show newspaper though.

I saw this on a Carter video. Used back of dishes and mugs until I bought some stones.

Salty dog
01-07-2013, 08:35 PM
I can say from experience, avoid scaring them. Most people are frightened by a really sharp knife. I made the mistake of passing one of mine around, I could see the fear in their faces as they imagined lobbing off a finger.

Otherwise keep it simple and basic.

Zwiefel
01-09-2013, 03:49 PM
That's a good observation Salty, thanks!

I see two possible formats for a class like this:

Each student prepares the same thing
Have groups, and each group prepares something different

The first approach is nice b/c each student gets a crack at the entire repertoire
The second increase the repertoire, and makes the question of what to do with the product afterwards a bit more difficult. It also makes repeating the class more sensible.

Any thoughts?

Mingooch
01-09-2013, 10:53 PM
I took one of the knife classes a while back. In my case, the provided knives were death traps. Dull, clunky viking brand. So glad I brought my own. The teacher hit up all the basic cuts, knife care, a little info on using stones and hones and rods. 2hours flies
Of the 2 choices u listed, I think it is easier to teach everyone the same cuts on the same items. Plus then everyone feels equal and less questions for you to deal with and slow down the class/learning.
As far as what to cut, if u do carrots, celery, onions, chicken and the like, well u have a great base for a soup or a number of other options.

Lucretia
01-09-2013, 11:00 PM
+1 on teaching everyone the same thing. That way you don't have someone so busy watching someone else that they chop off a finger.

Zwiefel
01-09-2013, 11:02 PM
Mingooch/Lucretia, thanks!

Lucretia
01-09-2013, 11:15 PM
It always seems when a class does different things it's the other table that gets to to what you really, really wanted to try!

keithsaltydog
01-10-2013, 12:01 AM
Don't try to do too many things,you will not have time.My first knife sharpening class,I had a blackboard for edge diagrams,talked some about Japan Gyuto's & steel.I was losing some of them.I asked for a show of hands to see how many knew what a burr is.No one raised their hand.Culanary Students,Most just wanted to have their knives sharpened.

I have streamlined my class quite a bit.Just sharpening,let them feel the burr,watch the technique.I teach as I go.If they buy a stone, I come back & do hands on one on one.A few at a time are becoming freehand sharpeners.

Cover Knife skills,let them cut food with my sharp knives,no cuts yet,I do keep a box of bandaids in my knife bag.

Peel pineapple,slice tomatos,green onions.Fruits & vegitables.Teach peeling,draw slice cut,forward push cut,chop,rock.

Last but not least Knife care-- NO EXCUSE FOR KNIFE ABUSE--,and safety.

Zwiefel
01-14-2013, 11:45 AM
OK, here's a first draft of the handout for the class. this just serves to structure the discussion and remind me to talk about certain things, it doesn't capture the detail of all of that. I like to leave a lot of room to respond to questions, gauge the students, etc.

any feedback is appreciated, my skin is very thick, I promise :)

Also, huge thanks to daveb for providing the skeleton for a lot of this!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iLNuSZCcL0Q9IEi5lNtUzSG9Ugo19oxu5pAmVCoj-o4/edit

keithsaltydog
01-14-2013, 04:25 PM
Hi Zwiefel,My class is diff. fr. yours since my main goal is to teach freehand to culinary students.My first class I wasted way too much time talking about knives,types,steels the stuff knife nerds like,but 99% of the masses could care less about.

Knife care & Safety are important & can be covered rather quickly.You are doing quite a few things including preping some food.My suggestion is to cut way back on your knife types,Japanese Stainless Gyuto,Petty,Santoku,maybe breadknife I would leave that out as well.

Esp. since this is general public,leave out mono vs. laminate,Usuba,Deba,Ceramic,the single bevels because they will never use them,Ceramic they cannot sharpen.They will want to know what a good knife to buy is.Keep it short & simple.

Zwiefel
01-14-2013, 04:43 PM
Thanks Keith...that's a good bit to think about.

WildBoar
01-14-2013, 05:11 PM
Looking through your handout, you are covering a lot of ground. Since most of the students -- if not all -- are really, really hoping for a lot of hands-on knife skills training, I would gloss over the knife types, etc., spend a few minutes talking about basic grips and safety, and the lions share of the time on the demonstrations/ doing part of things. Like a couple others here, I attended a SLT knife-skills class, and frankly you can burn 1/2 hour just on dicing an onion or carrot because there will be a couple people in there who really need you to hold their hand.


The handout will go a long way towards providing them with additional knife information, so you will still be educating them about all things knife-related, just not necessarily during the class.

Zwiefel
01-14-2013, 05:38 PM
Looking through your handout, you are covering a lot of ground. Since most of the students -- if not all -- are really, really hoping for a lot of hands-on knife skills training, I would gloss over the knife types, etc., spend a few minutes talking about basic grips and safety, and the lions share of the time on the demonstrations/ doing part of things. Like a couple others here, I attended a SLT knife-skills class, and frankly you can burn 1/2 hour just on dicing an onion or carrot because there will be a couple people in there who really need you to hold their hand.


The handout will go a long way towards providing them with additional knife information, so you will still be educating them about all things knife-related, just not necessarily during the class.

Thanks Wildboar, this is kinda what I was planning on doing...and I provide a way for students to contact me after the class if they want more info on anything.

I'm really quite unclear on how much I can cover in two hours both in terms of lecture type info, and in terms of the hands-on bit. Going to try to err on the side of providing too much time for hands-on though.

This is really good feedback guys, appreciate it.

WildBoar
01-14-2013, 06:12 PM
BTW, someone earlier in the thread mentioned supreming. I think it's a great thing to do, as most people today probably have not heard of it, or eaten an orange prepared that way. It's amazing how much better it makes the orange taste, since all the bitterness is gone. That was by far the most useful thing I picked up at the SLT class. But I would put a time limit on it, as some people went very, very slowly.

keithsaltydog
01-14-2013, 11:52 PM
Yes I use a handout as well,last page are Internet sites that carry reccom. knives & stones.Also Jon's site JKI has alot of free,youtube on knives,sharpening etc.He also covers knifecare.If reccom.sites for learning sharpening be specific,there is some not so good information out there.

:rolleyes:I would say to err toward almost all hands on.

Zwiefel
01-21-2013, 09:40 PM
well, I just tried to make citrus supremes out of 4 oranges following Rick's example in this video:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgkM_RrIGLM

By #4 I was doing a half-decent job and not wasting 1/2 the orange. Honestly, I cannot believe how much of a flavor different it makes...it's like I've never had an orange before.

Class is tomorrow night and this is definitely going to make an appearance. Thanks Rick, Dave, Salty, keithsaltydog, etc. for your suggestions and observations! I'll post again after the class to let you know how I screwed it up :)

Zwiefel
02-09-2013, 05:00 PM
Finally getting around to writing a follow-up on this...thanks to a bit of gentle prodding by another KKFer.

Well...as everyone suggested, my menu was too ambitious. Only got 2/5 of the way through it. Also, realized I need to create a bit more structure and discipline...they tried to follow along instead of watch, then imitate. One guy cut himself immediately b/c he was trying to follow my demonstration on how to breakdown an avocado instead of watching...and I was busy watching where my edge was so I didn't see him.

OTOH, everyone had a good time...and the evaluations were really good. So, going to revise the menu, and have a little lecture about watching, then trying...not doing them at the same time :)

The range of hardware people showed up with was interesting. one guy had some kind of victorinox knock-off that had a "bolster" design that made it impossible to get a proper pinch-grip. I didn't expect that. After trying a few different things, I found a modified pinch-grip that seemed to work on his design.

I tried to push people to keep a pinch grip and stay away from the pointer grip...but was kinda hard to avoid being obnoxious in pointing it out. Those of you that have done these classes: how much correction of this type do you do? I know when I was learning from a chef, he jumped on me every single time...annoyed the **** out of me, but I eventually made the adjustment and was grateful to him for not letting up. OTOH, he got a lot more than 2 hours with me.

It was a good experience, but I have a bit more work to do for it be what I wanted from it.

Zwiefel
02-09-2013, 07:37 PM
One unintended consequence of this class: my wife keeps asking me to sublime an orange for her :)

ThEoRy
02-09-2013, 09:45 PM
Cool, getting the hang of it I see.

WildBoar
02-09-2013, 10:52 PM
One unintended consequence of this class: my wife keeps asking me to sublime an orange for her :)Haha, that's funny. But I don't blame her -- they taste a lot more sublime when supremed! You will now be required to supreme all oranges for the next couple of decades.

keithsaltydog
02-10-2013, 03:24 AM
Good Zwiefel got your feet wet.I was watching the Supreme video on this thread,I've done alot of oranges & grapefruit,I did enjoy the Sushi making eg. Rainbow Roll,Chef Sean Park.I'm not crazy about segmenting fruit,but I love making Sushi & eating it too.:hungry: