Enderun Fundamentals Course

Last January, I mentioned that I enrolled myself in culinary school in Enderun Extension in this post here.  So for all my Saturday mornings this March and April, I spent my mornings at Enderun Campus in Fort Bonifacio, learning the technical basics of cooking through their Fundamentals Course.

The school facilities were great, with very well-equipped kitchens and endless coffee, iced tea and snacks set out for the students (Like most people, I love anything free!  Hehehe).  Also, there were only 10 of us per class which was ideal since the instructors had enough time to go around, check on our individual progress, and answer all our questions.

Here’s some of what was included in the fundamentals course just in case any of you are interested in this class.  🙂

During the first session, we practiced basic knife skills and learned how to make the different cuts like brunoise, julienne, paysanne, etc.

Aside from the facilities and the very knowledgeable instructors, what I really enjoyed about the course is that although we were only supposed to learn technical skills with no actual cooking, the instructors made sure to show us how to turn the raw ingredients into something yummy every week.  For the knife skills with vegetables, we had a delicious ratatouille that I’ve recreated at home several times.

Practicing knife skills

Torching a green pepper before peeling

Ratatouille made from all our chopped veggies

We had a potato and leek soup during the session that taught us to turn vegetables.  Turning vegetables is purely decorative, we pared down potatoes into football shapes and make miniature carrots from full sized ones.  So next time you see those miniature vegetables that you see on the side of your main dish when you order stuff in fancy restaurants remember that a heck of a lot of work goes into it!  I now have a new found appreciation for garnishes.

Potato leek soup

The other sessions taught us to truss and break down chickens, and prepare fish fillets, lamb chops, pork loin and tenderloin steaks.

Roast chicken

I cook at home quite a lot so there wasn’t really anything very new to me, but it nice to know the “proper” way to do things and get to improve on my rather haphazard way of getting things done (although it’s worked for me so far!).  🙂

It was a fun way to spend a few Saturdays, and I would definitely enroll in the intermediate course should it become available.  I recommend the course for beginners who want to learn how to cook and for serious home cooks who want to fine tune their skills.  🙂

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2 responses

    • Hi Joanne! What I like about the version I sampled in Enderun is that it is an untraditional version of ratatouille. The authentic type is all cooked together and is more of like a vegetable stew, I prefer the vegetables cooked separately so they maintain their own character and texture. I don’t have a copy of the recipe, but I adapted it to my taste and came up with this:

      Ratatouille by Part Time Homemaker

      Ingredients
      Half an onion, chopped
      3 cloves of garlic (but I like garlic), you can adjust according to taste
      1 medium eggplant
      1 red bell pepper or yellow bell pepper
      1 small zucchini
      2 or 3 tomatoes (medium)
      Basil
      Olive oil
      Salt and pepper

      Saute eggplant in a hot pan with olive oil until cooked and season with salt and pepper to taste. Put the eggplant in a separate bowl and cook the bell pepper, followed by the eggplant. The trick is to cook them all separately so you get the doneness you want for each vegetable. I also like that it prevents the flavors from all melding together.

      Boil and peel your tomatoes and chop them up. Then it’s time to make a simple, fresh tomato sauce.

      Set your stove to medium heat and saute your chopped onions in olive oil until soft and light brown. Add the garlic and chopped tomatoes and some basil if you like.

      Add all the cooked vegetables to the tomato sauce, stir, and finish with a drizzle of good quality olive oil. 🙂

      Let me know if you try it and how it comes out for you!

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