Did You Learn How to Cook at School? If So, What and How?

I was talking to a friend of mine and it dawned on me that maybe in the US, people don’t learn how to cook at school. She said that all she remembered is making some cookies, and maybe some bread. A bit of food safety and nutrition lecture, and that’s pretty much it. My husband said something similar too. Is that a norm?

Where I grew up, in Tokyo, Japan, boys had woodworking or PE classes, and we had a semester of hands-on cooking classes. They were mandatory. We made things like chicken rice, curry and rice, spaghetti meat sauce (Bolognese), along with more traditional Japanese dishes and maybe some Chinese. It’s funny all I remember is more Western menu. I didn’t care much for “traditional Japanese food”.

I remember at high school, some girls didn’t eat the fruit of our labor at the end of the class, and save it for their boyfriends or for “their prospects”. I know quite a few couples formed because of this strategy.

Oh, in case you are wondering, in Japan, everyone cooks many different “Japanized” international dishes at home. Pretty much 1/3 or less Japanese, 1/3 or less Chinese or other Asian, or 1/3 to 1/2 dishes with European origin. Just like cars and electronics, the Japanese are very good at adopting other inventions, adapt and make it even more efficient. Same with food, especially we Japanese are so into food!

Anyway, I’d love to hear how it was for you:

  1. Where did you grow up? (City & State/Country)
  2. Did you learn how to cook at school (middle school, high school)?
  3. What recipe(s), or menu?
  4. Were your classes hands-on? Did you get to cook? Or were you just watching someone cooking?
  5. What did you learn from these classes? Or any memory from them?

Look forward to hearing your experience!

Please share this with your friends – I’d love to hear from as many people as possible. I love finding out about the cultural difference, so anyone from any culture would be great.  Just click “Share” button right next to the title of this post, choose the platform of your choice.  Thank you!

Technorati Tags: Cooking,school,recipe,menu,learn to cook,US,Japan,class


5 thoughts on “Did You Learn How to Cook at School? If So, What and How?

  1. 1. ask my wife – I haven’t grown up.
    2. First at the Peter Kump school in NY, now called ICE, for French Culinary Techniques. Then, Culinary Institute of America, first 2 exploratory weeks for potential students and then the 8 week Baking and Pastry Course at the CIA in Hyde Park, NY
    3. Prefer French techniques as a basis, although the desserts are really derived from Austria, Switzerland, plus.
    4. Yes, professional hands on. I consider this extremely important to get the feel.
    5. Wow!

    • Thanks, Thomas for your answers. You are too funny — as usual!
      Now please respond to MY questions again… I wanted to know about middle school and high school.

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  3. I’m a bit late but I love surveys.

    1. BC, Canada
    2. Grade 8-10 in highschool
    3. Baked goods (apple crisp, chocolate marble square, banana muffins) and pastries, yeast doughs (white buns). Pizza (yeast and no-yeast crust), soup (french onion, cream soup – cheddar broccoli?), pasta and (spaghetti, white?) sauce, bacon, eggs, rice, stir fry. Surely dinners involving meat and vegetables in some way. We covered all three meals plus desserts.
    4. Classes were hands on. The teacher gave a demo, and next class we would cook in partners.
    5. You can make everything from scratch – buns, crackers, pizza dough. And it was reassuring to have a rule book handed down on safe food preparation, efficient dishwashing, among other things. It gave me the basis in cooking from which to tackle any recipe , or experiment on my own.

    • Thank you for your detailed comment. You guys got amazing cooking classes at school!

      So is it normal in Canada (or BC)? I’m asking this, because in the US, no one seems to learn how to cook at school (except for culinary schools of course.)

      If you can share your knowledge with me, I’d appreciate it. Thanks!

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