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Chef's Training

Curriculum Highlights

Instruction is given through hands-on classes, as well as lectures and demonstrations dealing with the following subjects:

  • Equipment and sanitation.
  • Knives and knife skills (both French and Japanese).
  • The identification of quality ingredients based on our 10 criteria for natural food selection.
  • The politics of food: the influence of corporate interests on dietary recommendations.
  • Culinary techniques: the use and preparation of whole grains, beans, vegetables, sea vegetables, soy foods, seitan, pasta, fruits, nuts, seafood, organic eggs and organic chicken in a variety of appetizers, soups, entrees, stews, salads, stocks, sauces and desserts.
  • Baking and dessert techniques emphasizing whole grain flours and natural sweeteners; yeasted breads, pizza, cakes, cookies, pies and tarts, as well as wheat-free baked goods.
  • Creative cooking and meal preparation, including menu planning, balancing meals and contemporary food presentation.
  • Theoretical and practical approaches to diet and health: the principles and practice of preparing whole foods meals that facilitate digestion, strengthen the immune system and help prevent a variety of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis and arthritis. Classes include principles of western nutrition, macrobiotics, ayurveda and cleansing and detoxification with living foods.
  • Quantity food experience involving the preparation and presentation of four-course, gourmet, plant-based meals offered to the public at our Friday Night Dinners.
  • Cost control and pricing.
  • Opportunities in the food business: catering, spa and restaurant work, teaching, recipe writing, private cooking and an introduction to structuring and managing your own small business enterprise.
  • Industry experience consisting of an internship at a professional food establishment, enabling our students to put their Natural Gourmet training into practice while providing invaluable career opportunities.


EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

Elective Classes and Tutorials
Chef’s Training students are given an opportunity to attend a variety of extra-curricular classes. Some of our offerings have included:

  • Naturally-Raised Red Meat – discussion, preparation and tastings
  • Wine Selection – tasting and pairing with plant-based cuisine
  • Raw Cheese – discussion of cheese making and sampling
  • Tea – discussion and guided tastings
  • Food Styling
  • Slow Food Movement – discussion with an organization representative
  • International Cuisines

In addition to elective classes, films focusing on food issues are screened periodically, and regularly scheduled tutorials focusing on knife skills are available.

Class Trips
Students are introduced to the wealth of New York City’s international culinary traditions through elective, supervised field trips to a variety of ethnic neighborhoods. Locations include Chinatown, New York’s “real” Little Italy, Latin and Indian neighborhoods and Mitsua Japanese supermarket.

Union Square Greenmarket & Park Slope Food Co-op
NGI is a few blocks away from the famous Union Square Greenmarket where we conduct weekly food demos during the growing season. Students are offered the opportunity to prepare the freshest produce by assisting our Demo Chefs.

Our students may also hone their food demonstration skills by assisting guest instructors in monthly cooking classes at the Park Slope Co-op, one of the most well-established and innovative food co-ops in the country.