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Confessions of a Culinary Student: Relying On Your Senses

Curious about cooking? High-pressure culinary school requires a lot of time and money. We asked present and former culinary students for their No. 1 “ah-ha!” moment or takeaway from class so you can benefit from what they learned — without enrolling.

Culinary Student: Rick Martinez
School: French Culinary Institute, 2011

Confession: A big moment for me was learning to cook with all my senses. Becoming hyper-aware of what is happening in the pan or in the oven — relying on sight, smell, touch, taste and sound rather than a suggested cooking time or temperature — was a big step in my cooking journey. Recognizing these sensory cues allowed me to understand what was happening to the food as it cooked and enabled me to take action based on my instincts.

For more on the high-pressure ups and downs of culinary school, tune in to The Freshman Class every Monday at 10:30pm ET.

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