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Culinary arts

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A culinary student at Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville, Georgia, 2015

Culinary arts, in which culinary means "related to cooking", are the cuisine arts of food preparation, cooking, and presentation of food, usually in the form of meals. People working in this field – especially in establishments such as restaurants – are commonly called "chefs" or "cooks", although, at its most general, the terms "culinary artist" and "culinarian" are also used. Table manners ("the table arts") are sometimes referred to as a culinary art.

Expert chefs are required to have knowledge of food science, nutrition and diet and are responsible for preparing meals that are as pleasing to the eye as they are to the palate. After restaurants, their primary places of work include delicatessens and relatively large institutions such as hotels and hospitals. One chef claimed, "I don't only think like a chef, he explains, pointing at his MacBook's screen. I try to create art. The plate is my picture. The food are my colors.& My food is not beautiful because it's modern. It's beautiful because there's passion and there's love. This shows how much passion is used in the preparation and cooking of these amazing dishes. [1]


The origins of culinary began with primitive humans roughly 2 million years ago.[2] There are various theories as to how early humans used fire to cook meat. According to anthropologist Richard Wrangham, author of Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human[3], primitive humans simply tossed a raw hunk of meat into the flames and watching it sizzle. Another theory claims humans may first have savored roasted meat by chance when the flesh of a beast killed in a forest fire was found to be more appetizing and easier to chew and digest than the conventional raw meat.

Culinary techniques improved with the introduction of earthenware and stoneware, the domestication of livestock, and advancements in agriculture. In early civilizations, the primary employers of professional chefs were kings, aristocrats, or priests. The divide between professional chefs cooking for the wealthy and peasants cooking for their families engendered the development of many cuisines.

A great deal of the study of Culinary Arts in Europe was organized by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, a man famous for his quote "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are," which has since been mistranslated and oversimplified into "You are what you eat." Other people helped to parse out the different parts of food science and gastronomy. Over time, increasingly deeper and more detailed studies into foods and the Culinary Arts has led to a greater wealth of knowledge.

In Asia, a similar path led to a separate study of the Culinary Arts, which later essentially merged with the Western counterpart. In the modern international marketplace, there is no longer a distinct divide between Western and Eastern foods. Culinary Arts students today, generally speaking, are introduced to the different cuisines of many different cultures from around the world.

The Culinary Arts, in the Western world, as a craft and later as a field of study, began to evolve at the end of the Renaissance period. Prior to this, chefs worked in castles, cooking for kings and queens, as well as their families, guests, and other workers of the castle. As Monarchical rule became phased out as a modality, the chefs took their craft to inns and hotels. From here, the craft evolved into a field of study.

Before cooking institutions, professional cooks were mentors for individual students who apprenticed under them. In 1879, the first cooking school was founded in the United States: the Boston Cooking School. This school standardized cooking practices and recipes, and laid the groundwork for the culinary arts schools that would follow.

Today, there are thousands of Culinary Arts schools around the world. A wealth of opportunities is available in the growing field of culinary arts. Many high school graduates, career­changers, and others are drawn into this multi­billion dollar industry every year. Indeed, the food service industry is the number one retail employer in the United States—it employs more than nine million people. Chefs, cooks, and other kitchen workers make up a large percentage of the food service industry, and the chances for landing a great job in this exciting field are excellent. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by the year 2005, the demand for trained chefs will exceed the supply[4] Along with colleges and community colleges, there are also countless vocational schools built into high school curriculum that have specialized culinary arts programs. These programs are great for younger students who may have an interest in having a career in culinary, as they can experiment and learn about what it truly entails by being in a real kitchen environment. These programs also give students insight the other way around, in which they can learn if maybe the culinary world is not what they anticipated it to be.

Tools and TechniquesEdit

Image of a chef preparing food

An integral part of the Culinary Arts are the tools, known as cooking or kitchen utensils, that are used by both professional chefs and home cooks alike. Professionals in the culinary arts often call these utensils by the French term "batterie de cuisine".[5] These tools vary in materials and use. Cooking implements are made with anything from wood, glass, various types of metals, to the newer silicone and plastic that can be seen in many kitchens today.

Within the realm of the culinary arts, there is a wide array of different cooking techniques that originate from various cultures and continue to develop over time as these techniques are shared between cultures and progress with new technology. Different cooking techniques require the use of certain tools, foods and heat sources in order to produce a specific desired result. The professional kitchen may utilize certain techniques that a home cook might not, such as the use of an expensive professional grill but, cooking methods of various kinds can be found in any kitchen at virtually any point in modern human history.[6]

Professional studyEdit

Modern Culinary Arts students study many different aspects of food. Specific areas of study include butchery, chemistry and thermodynamics, visual presentation, food safety, human nutrition and physiology, international history, the manufacture of food items (such as the milling of wheat into flour or the refining of cane plants into crystalline sucrose), and many others.

Training in culinary arts is possible in most countries around the world. Usually at tertiary level (university). With institutions government funded, privately funded or commercial.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Steigrad, Alexandra (2011). "Culinary Arts". WWD. 201: 15b.
  2. ^ Rupp, Rebecca. "A Brief History of Cooking With Fire". National Geographic. National Geographic. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  3. ^ Wringham, Richard. Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human.
  4. ^ "Culinary Arts".
  5. ^ Griswold, Madge. "Utensils, Cooking." Encyclopedia of Food and Culture, edited by Solomon H. Katz, vol. 3, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2003, pp. 472-476. Gale eBooks. Accessed 25 Sept. 2019.
  6. ^ Symons, Michael. "Cooking." Encyclopedia of Food and Culture, edited by Solomon H. Katz, vol. 1, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2003, pp. 458-462. Gale eBooks. Accessed 27 Oct. 2019.
  • "Cooking Schools 101." Cooking Schools. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2013.
  • "History." Of Culinary Archives & Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2013.
  • "History of Culinary." Culinary Arts information RSS. N.p., nd. web.17 Sept.2013
  • "History of Culinary Arts." Culinary Arts Information RSS. N.p,. web. 17 Sept.2013
  • "The Culinary Timeline." The Culinary Timeline. N.p,.web. 17 Sept. 2013
  • The Food Timeline

Further readingEdit

  • Beal, Eileen. Choosing a career in the restaurant industry. New York: Rosen Pub. Group, 1997.
  • Institute for Research. Careers and jobs in the restaurant business: jobs, management, ownership. Chicago: The Institute, 1977.

External linksEdit