Thursday, December 6, 2012

CKCA Debuts First Ever Women-Only Professional Program

This winter, during a new semester of the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts professional program, a new all-womens evening section will be offered, in addition to an all-mens evening section, and a co-educational daytime program. These course offerings of non-mixed gender courses are offered in response to requests from students. 

The all-womens class will be offered on Sunday and Monday evenings, 6:30pm to 10:30pm, from January 13 to June 10, 2013. For the full schedule of professional courses, visit this link.

The women's Pro class will offer the same high-quality 152-hour professional program in culinary training in a Glatt-kosher environment that CKCA is famous for. The course offers hands-on training in professional culinary skills and techniques, as well as an optional 8-hour certificate course in food safety and sanitation, at no additional charge. Upon completion of the professional program, students have the option to continue their training with an internship in a professional food service environment, such as restaurants, catering companies, and other institutional food service locations like schools and homes for the aged or developmentally disabled. 

The goals of the program are to:

*Orient the student to the professional kosher culinary environment and teach the student to operate within that environment in a safe, efficient, and skillful manner

*Hone the student’s understanding and practice of fundamental culinary technique

*Develop in the student an understanding of flavor and taste and an appreciation for quality ingredients

*Facilitate the student’s transition in to the working world by providing both career counseling and an opportunity for networking.

For more information, call CKCA Director Jesse Blonder at 718-758-1339. For more 
information, visit here:

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Date Night Couples Competition 12/01/12; Recap

Last night was the first Date Night Couples Competition of our Saturday night cooking class season and boy did it kick off with a bang! The class has consistently been our most popular and continues to be a very in demand option for private parties as well.

For those of you who have seen the show Chopped, the concept of Couples Competition is very similar. With 90 minutes on the clock, couples race to create one extraordinary entree using nothing but their cooking skills, culinary know-how, and a basket of secret ingredients. No recipes, no cookbooks, no kidding! And of course we always round out the night with drinks, snacks, and music!

Each plate is then judged by our chef on taste, presentation, and creativity. The winner receives a gift certificate towards classes for $75!

This week, the basket included:

Chicken breast
Basmati Rice
Butternut squash
Star anise

Couple #1 by far had the most colorful plate. Their balsamic marinated and grilled chicken breast was very tasty as well.

Couple #2 made a very delicious chicken fajita inspired entree over a supremely flavorful basmati rice.

Couple #3 coated their chicken in a combination of crushed pistachios, sliced almonds, and Japanese bread crumbs for some seriously delicious crunch.

Couple #4 won the award for creativity with what they called a descontructed Bibimbap. Their plating was impressive too; rice served in the shape a heart and carrots carved in to the shape of mini sprockets. The fried egg on top certainly didn't illicit any complaints from the judges either!

Couple #5 grilled their chicken on skewers and garnished with a combination of black and white sesame seeds and flax seeds. They won the award for best use of the star anise with a truly tasty anise infused butternut squash puree.

Couple #6 had the highest score in the category of taste. Their rice pilaf was simple but right on the money. The grilled vegetables were at that perfect point of being crunchy but cooked through, impressive grill marks as well. The chicken, breaded, fried and served on a brush stroke of squash puree was lovely. Let it be known that they were also the best trash-talkers we've had to date! Nonetheless, their plate spoke for itself and THEY WERE PRONOUNCED THE WINNER!

Another great night cooking and competing!

The next Date Night Culinary Competition will be held on Saturday, December 29, 2012 from 8 - 10:30 pm. We hope to see you then!