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Culinary Classroom Lesson 1: Culinary Terms


Join Chef Carrie Leonard in this first of 12 segments covering the basics of classical French cuisine.

The word “chef” is borrowed (and shortened) from the French term ‘chef de cuisine’, the director or head of a kitchen. (The French word comes from Latin “caput” and is cognate with the English word “chief”.) In English, the title “chef” in the culinary profession originated in the haute cuisine of the 19th century. Many people erroneously call themselves “chef” if they cook as a profession, regardless of rank. In fact, in our growing nation of foodies, the line between the definition of a “cook” and a “chef” has begun to blur.

You don’t have to be a chef to prepare and enjoy great food but it helps to learn the basics from a qualified professional. That’s why I’m telling you all this;

I graduated Johnson & Wales University with an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts in 1994 as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Food Service Management in 2005, graduating with Suma Cum Laude honors on both occasions. I’ve been a Chef Instructor with Johnson & Wales University for more than 17 years.

I hold certifications as an FMP (Food Management Professional) from the National Restaurant Association, a CHE (Certified Hospitality Educator) from the AMHA and two advanced certificates with WSET (Wine and Spirits Education Trust) among others.

As a chef I make a difference. I’m a teacher, a motivator, an explorer and an inventor. Chefs don’t follow recipes we create them, bound only by our inspiration. We laugh, we cry, we burn stuff and start over! We are selective, opinionated and empathetic. Our creations are nourishment for the body and the spirit. That is a great responsibility and the highest honor…and it’s all FUN!

I put This 12 part series together to help you on your way to being a chef…or at least a darned good (and educated) cook. It aired for the first half of 2011 on Time Warner Cable’s “Carolina On Demand” stations and the series, (along with a lot more great stuff) is now available to everyone on my website at .

I love teaching so I hope you enjoy and learn something along the way.


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