Institut Michel Guérard® | Teaching
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The key feature of the courses provided by the Institut Michel Guérard® is the interdisciplinary nature of the teaching.

The aim is to train cooks in new procedures and techniques, thus allowing them to produce dishes which are flavoursome and still healthy for their customers. In order to achieve this, it is essential for the culinary professional to understand how and to what extent his or her own usual cooking methods may have an influence on people’s health, so the courses incorporate theoretical dietetic and specialised medical content.

There is also a specialised module of the courses aimed at health professionals affected by the dietary factor. They learn about “healthy cooking”, so that they can offer the right advice to any of their patients who are suffering from pathologies caused or aggravated by diet.

The courses taught at the Institut Michel Guérard® foster the participants’ independence and help them to free themselves both technically and intellectually, by exploring a whole range of advice, techniques and tips, giving them the skills to develop their own traditional ways of doing things so that they can incorporate these new culinary and health dimensions into them.

Practical component

The culinary courses start with a practical assessment allowing the teachers to get to know their pupils, their habits, their strong points and weaknesses, so that they can adapt their teaching methods accordingly.

The courses cover the basic Health Cuisine® concepts, in other words seasonings (bouillons, vinaigrettes, sauces, thickenings), which are then applied using various recipes.

Each recipe acts as a pretext for learning the alternative methods used in Health Cuisine®, such as trimming the fat off a piece of meat, the right cooking method, the choice and use of particular produce, the many different ways of using the previously taught basic skills.

The same goes for Health Pastry®, which includes its own techniques, such as whisked egg whites, jelly, Chantilly cream, etc.

The recipes are chosen to tie in with the seasons of the year, so that as far as possible we are working with fresh seasonal produce, which is tastier and less expensive.

This means that the pupils will be making ten or so recipes every day, and producing dishes which they themselves will be eating at lunchtime.

The culinary laboratory’s ultra-advanced organisation and facilities offer every pupil an opportunity to make all of the recipes. The teacher’s culinary demonstrations are always taught individually.

Theoretical component

This varies according to the target audience.

For culinary professionals, it is organised into three workshops. The first dietetic workshop (2 hours) deals, both quantitatively and qualitatively, with dietary balance.

Dieticians set out the basic concepts of nutrition, talking about the human body’s needs, what foods are made of and nutritional recommendations.

This theoretical component is taught interactively, and built around pupils’ own knowledge and ideas, which means that they are actively involved, working either individually or in pairs. The aim of the second workshop (2 hours) is for all of the pupils to be able to assess the recipes they use every day in terms of both calories and nutritional content. This exercise is carried out individually, so it means that they have to rethink their own habits so that they can follow the recommendations on dietary balance.

The third part of the theoretical component of the course is a medical conference (2 hours) offering pupils an introduction to the pathological consequences of diet (obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, etc.)
This helps to underline the link between cooking and its impact on the human body.

The pastry-making courses incorporate specific theoretical components dealing with various sweetening products, and are taken by the Head Pastry Chef in the culinary laboratory.

For health professionals, the theoretical component starts with a workshop on the choice of cooked foods, helping them to expand their knowledge (e.g. choosing cuts from a piece of meat). A workshop on sugars supplements the practical pastry-making component of the course.

It is followed by a workshop which is exactly the same as the one for culinary professionals on assessing the calorie and nutritional value of foods and menus.

There is a third workshop which sets out to provide health professionals with the educational tools they will need to advise and educate their patients. It is run by dieticians, trained in Therapeutic Patient Education, and who offer a TPE programme aimed at obese patients. These two workshops are optional, depending on the health professionals’ requirements.