Friday, July 1

‘Masters’ of the kitchen: Chefs who train and inform

Three restaurants in the city of León and the San Cayetano Training Center have opened their stoves so that fourth year students of the Bachelor’s Degree in Food Science and Technology, of the Culinary Chemistry and Technology subject, can learn from them. As a result of a collaboration agreement with the University of León (ULE), the chefs from Cocinandos (one of the two Michelin Stars in León capital), El Buche and Marcela have taught the students cooking techniques, the keys to shape a menu or the different physical and chemical reactions that can be played with before or after reaching the plate. In this way, the students of this optional subject taught by José María Fresno Baro, a member of the ULE research group Lactic Bacteria and Technological Application (BALAT), have been able to learn about the creation capacity of renowned chefs from the city ​​and observe from a privileged place, from inside its kitchens, how is the real operation of a restaurant and how it works to win over customers with proposals that differentiate them. This practical activity, which is not the first year that it has been carried out, has been carried out during the last three months, which is why it has marked the beginning of the course for these students. In addition to these three restaurants, teachers from the Ciudad de León de San Cayetano Professional Training Center have collaborated in the learning, where the Bachelor’s Degree in Cooking is taught. For Fresno, the selfless help they receive both from this center and from the restaurants not only “allows a better training for our students,” but has also served to “strengthen interactions between the ULE and other training centers for cooking and cooking. Restaurants »over the last few years. One of the parts that most attracts the attention of the students of this subject is that related to the techniques and physical and chemical processes with which one can work to prepare the dishes. “That they can become familiar with the different cooking techniques, know the mechanisms followed in preparing a menu, and understand and analyze the different physical and chemical reactions involved is the ultimate goal we are pursuing,” says Fresno. During three practical sessions with professors Esther Ferreras Fernández and Diana Martínez del Barrio, from the San Cayetano Center, the students focused on traditional cuisine and developed regional menus and various pastry recipes. For their part, with Yolanda León and Juanjo Pérez, from Cocinandos, they approached the avant-garde kitchen and were able to apply the technique to prepare foams with a siphon and in a vacuum or use liquid nitrogen. Vacuum and low temperature cooking to cook seafood, fish such as mackerel or cod, pork ribs or an infusion of fruit with pears in wine was the specialty they learned from the hand of Luis Álvarez Gallardo, the chef in charge of the restaurant El Buche and, finally, with Javier del Blanco, chief cook and manager of the kitchens of the Vamuca Group, the students entered the kitchen of the Marcela restaurant. In it they were able to learn about the process of creating a dish and its integration into a menu depending on the type of restaurant to which it is directed. Among the elaborations in which they worked, the foie stones, the pigeon from Tierra de Campos and a reinterpretation of scrambled eggs with mushrooms and eggs or a garlic soup with tripe stand out. In the dessert section they prepared a millefeuille with cherry tomato and tomato sorbet or macaroni stuffed with Ronchito caramel.

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