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Nutrition & Sensory Analysis Day 8: Practical Exam

After two classes of absolutely no cooking. Nutrition & Sensory Analysis is the first class we finally get to cook in. I am so surprised it went by so fast.

Yesterday was the practical. In my mind, the practical was harder than it actually was in real life.

How the Practical is set up?

  • 1 Hour of Mise en Place- having everything properly measured and cut and in place.
  • 30 Minutes of Actual Cooking (Yes only 30 minutes).
  • 10 Minutes to Plate and Present to instructor (Which can also be used as extra time to finish cooking).

1 Hour Mise en Place - The most important part of the practical. If the mise en place isn’t properly set up, it is nearly impossible to get any cooking done in only 30 minutes. During Mise en Place all ingredients should be measured, cut (julienne, minced, diced etc.), and organized. There is ABSOLUTELY NO COOKING during this time. Proper Mise en Place will allow you to not have to use your knife/knife kit for any task during cooking or plating (unless adding finishing touches such as cutting the cooked meat into portion sizes).

30 Minutes of Actual Cooking - Again if Mise en Place is done correctly, everything in this 30 minutes should be baby work (not really. There’s still some things you could possibly do wrong during this 30 minutes. One example would be over cooking the vegetables in the steamer of over poaching the meat).

10 Minutes to Plate and Present to Instructor - A proper serving size, according to choosemyplate.gov, for a nutritional and balanced meal is 4 ounces of meat, 8 ounces of grain, 16 ounces of vegetables. This is what I got:

I definitely did not get enough vegetables on the plate.

If I was to do this practical all over I would taking into account the culture of flavor profile given to us - Indian Cuisine. Since a lot of religions and culture practice vegetarianism or give meat the least amount of attention I would have used twice as much rice on the plate as I did to show that rice is a big deal in Indian culture.

The most important I have learned from all of this is the importance of Mise en Place. Proper Mise en Place makes cooking a breeze.