Culinary art is the art of cooking, decorating and serving food in a professional manner. Culinary skill is as much a science as an art, as one must know the ingredients being used while cooking. It is also important to have a thorough knowledge of the contents of the various ingredients and additives used to cook food. It is vital to have practical hands-on training for the course.
The teaching materials used to impart knowledge of culinary arts can run the entire gamut, from kitchen knives to sophisticated appliances used in modern kitchens. The various cutleries used in setting a table and how they are to be placed also form part of the teaching material. It is important to know about their placements and which fork or knife is to be used for which purpose.
The various types of cuts and chops given to food or cooking material such as fillets, juliennes and shredding are all vital information for a student of the culinary arts. It is equally important to know the combination of spices and ingredients that add flavor to the food. One has to ensure that all the ingredients of a certain recipe are in the right proportion.
Culinary art instructors have their own favorites in the teaching material or aid they use. Some prefer the old traditional method of hands on experience whereas some use the latest teaching aids such as cookery books and computer discs available aplenty in the market. The study materials for culinary teaching include books, sample tests, class notes, and such other items that an instructor puts in front of the class to refer and learn from. There is a wide array of cookery books on the market today. The books dealing with cuisines of different regions such as Chinese, Japanese, French and Indian are very popular and easily available at any bookstore. Reference books provide background information and overviews on any topic related with the culinary arts such as baking, broiling, grilling, carving, food habits of various people, catering, restaurants, menu design, food service and such other topics.
The Internet also provides a plethora of information and teaching material on culinary arts. Many famous cooks, cookery schools and colleges host their own websites and famous recipes and culinary tips are posted there.
Through a combination of classroom and on-the-job training, culinary trainees receive instruction and gain work experience in all aspects of the operations of a restaurant or food service facility in any institution.