Thursday, April 29, 2010

Student Rodney Franklin micro-blog

Recently I have had the honor to witness one of the most educational contests ever. When we discussed the “Who’s Left Cooking” competition I thought just like some of you: “Blah, blah, just another contest.” But then I helped set up for the event. This is going to be so cool, and then when the judges come in, this is even cooler! I got to meet chefs from around Indy. To meet them was a privilege. For the first round, not even the board members knew what Chef Tony had put in the mystery basket! To see what the contestants came up with was so awesome, and then it was time to serve the judges. Now remember that these are the eyes and ears of the people you are going to be serving when you leave school.  Just to be there to hear what they had to say was almost better than being in a classroom. The famous line, “Did you taste it??” “Your knife cuts could have been better” and “hot food-hot plate”. Do I hear an echo coming from the classrooms of the Chefs Academy? If you missed this event you have missed out on lifetime of information that spilled out of the Judges mouths.
See what you missed!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It’s an Economic Principle!

“I can eat pizza EVERYDAY!” How many times have you heard someone say that? I, myself have eagerly proclaimed that I know I could eat Mexican food everyday for the rest of my life. But, can we really eat the same thing every single day? According to economists, NO, we can’t!

Admittedly, there are people who have limited options for what they eat on a daily basis. However, if given a choice they would probably welcome an opportunity to change up their diet. Why is this proclamation of eating your favorite food everyday not plausible? Because as each additional item is consumed, the satisfaction we receive from it lessens over time. This is an economic principle called the law of diminishing marginal utility. Here’s how it works:

As you know, I enjoy eating authentic Mexican cuisine. I am a connoisseur of guacamole and would like to think I could devour a bowl of it every day! The chart below shows what happened when I tried to do this . . .
My experiment did not yield the results I had hoped for! On Day 1, I consumed one bowl of guacamole and was 100% satisfied.  By Day 3 I could only eat half of a bowl of guacamole and by Day 5 I didn’t want any more at all!  In fact, I couldn't even stand the smell of it!  I've seen others eat popcorn at the movies or candy at the amusement park until they were sick.

“Do not confuse diminishing marginal utility with dislike,” mentions the Essentials of Economics textbook. Just because by Day 5 I could not eat anymore guacamole doesn’t mean that it was not desirable. Oh, I wanted to eat it; but, physically, my taste buds and stomach could not take it in for the fifth day in a row. It was just too much of a good thing!  It’s been a couple of weeks since I tried this little experiment and so as I type I am thinking how nice it would be to have some chips and guacamole! Sorry, I’ve got to go now.  Trust me, I will stop at the first bowl ensuring that my satisfaction level is at 100%.

Please note that the law of diminishing marginal utility and other principles of the sort are discussed and learned in our Hospitality & Restaurant Management Program.  Join us to learn how to apply these principles to the decison making process in operating an effective business.

Jokima Hiller, MBA, Hospitality & Restaurant
Management Program Coordinator

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Monday, April 5, 2010

Student Anthony Dick micro-blog

American Culinary Federation Central Regional Conference, Indianapolis IN-March 26th-Sunday, March 28th 2010
News & Notes:
            What an incredible weekend for The Chef’s Academy! Our school had the honor of hosting the Competition components of the A.C.F. Central Regional Conference. Dozens of professional chef’s and student culinary teams from nine states competed this weekend (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Indiana). The Chef’s Academy Culinary Team members included: Mary Grace Breese, Mitch McDaniel, Lisa Clayton, Rachel Hanson, Kelsey Luallen, and myself. We participated in the Cold Platter, or Garde Manger portion on Friday, and the Cold Salon, or Skills Set, and Hot Salon, or the Four Course Menu on Saturday.  We fought long and hard all weekend, and in the end brought home a bronze medal for the school.
            On Sunday our team was given the opportunity to attend the last day of the conference at the Downtown Marriot. At 8a.m. I attended a lecture on Avocado’s and received several recipes and new ideas using this amazing little fruit. Next I attended a demonstration presented by the Sterno Group. This lecture was on fire, literally! The last two lectures I attended were focused on competitions. The International Competition lecture was focused on the strategies and mindsets needed for success in competitions here in the U.S. and abroad. It was given by the Vice-President of the A.A.C., or the American Academy of Chef’s, the fraternal order of distinguished chef’s inside the A.C.F., and it was awesome! The last lecture was presented by the members of the A.C.F. Competition Committee. Each and every one of them served as judges during the competition this weekend. I learned a tremendous amount of information that will definitely help me and members of this school compete and win at a very high level.
            The high points of the weekend for me were of course the competition itself, but also the lectures, and the chance to meet many professional chef’s that serve as the judges and the leadership of A.C.F. For example, I got the chance to shake the hand of the National President of A.C.F.! As an aspiring chef, just to be in the same room with these individuals and to listen to their comments and suggestions was truly an honor and privilege. To my fellow students, I would highly recommend joining the A.C.F. It can only help you in your career goals and make you a better chef. Also, think about trying out for next year’s T.C.A. Culinary Team. We can use all the talented, disciplined, and dedicated personnel we can get. It’s a great way to represent the school and practice the techniques you’ll use in the real world. I’m already making plans to attend next year’s Central Regional Conference in 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. You should too!  
Written by Anthony Dick