A basic sketch of kitchen competencies: how we think, how we train
 Using tools:
Your hands are the best tool, Knife skills help you learn to be organized and systematic.
The point of learning knife skills is to be able to control the tool to learn basic vegetable cuts, julienne, brunoise, mirepoix, etc We train you to see the size of the cut ; how to position the knife, and execute with perfect control. Then you practice over and over until it is yours.
 Understanding ingredients:
“Vegetables are the jewel in the crown; they make the dish.”
Josephine Araldo taught me that cooking is only ever about texture and taste, and vegetables demonstrate the lesson nicely. As you cook them, the texture breaks down; as the texture breaks down, starches convert to sugars and you get natural flavor. Voila.
 Fundamental chemistry:
Vinaigrette is a sauce, and the French don’t mess around giving words careless meanings. To accomplish this sauce you have to learn to take two ingredients, oil and vinegar, and make them the equivalent of a world class sauce. We’ll take you there.
Mayonnaise is a cold emulsified sauce. You can learn to make it in less than 5 minutes, i.e. quicker than you could go to the store and buy an inferior version of what you’re capable of doing with your own hands.
 The meal as a French construct
It all comes together, the details mapped out, the ingredients selected, the focus attentive.