15 Jul Culinary Arts 101: Key Skills Aspiring Seafood Restaurant Owner-Chefs Should Know
For many people who want to start their own seafood restaurant, enrolling in a culinary arts school in Manila is one of the first steps they need to take. This is especially true for those who also want to take on the dual role of being an owner-chef since you’ll need to have a certain level of skill to get your kitchen running smoothly.
One of the biggest advantages of undergoing formal training in a culinary school is learning a wide range of technical skills. For the most part, a lot of these skills are applicable in any kitchen. However, there are several skills that aspiring seafood restaurant owner-chefs should really cultivate during their time studying. These skills include:
Identifying the freshness of different seafood
Seafood restaurants are all about freshness, which is why it is crucial for owner-chefs to be able to determine how fresh seafood is when purchasing ingredients. When it comes to fish, one of the telltale signs of freshness is their eyes. The eyes of fresh fish will be clear and bulging with dark pupils. Another sign is the quality of the scales. Bright, shiny scales are a good sign of freshness, but take the time to run your hands over the scales as well. The scales of fresh fish will still feel firm to the touch and do not come off as easily. Of course, you’ll also learn how to determine the freshness of shellfish and other types of seafood ingredients like shellfish and crustaceans.
Cleaning different types of seafood properly
Knowing how to properly clean seafood is an important skill. Proper cleaning helps prevent unwanted flavors from leaking into your dish. In the case of fish, removing the guts cleanly prevents a bitter flavor from contaminating the fish. For shellfish like clams, soaking the shellfish in a bucket of cold water and then running them through flowing water helps remove the sand that tends to accumulate inside the shells.
Filleting fresh fish with minimal wastage
Filleting fresh whole fish is one of the most important skills any owner-chef should master. After all, it takes a certain level of finesse to fillet a fish with minimal wastage. Although you can easily buy fillets, filleting fish on your own gives you better control over freshness, quality, and portion sizes. Start off by making a small incision right underneath the fish’s gills until your reach the backbone. From there, you’ll want to gently cut the fish using the backbone as a guide. Keep the knife flat to avoid cutting uneven portions of fish. Once you’ve separated the fillets, trim the dorsal fin and a tiny portion of the tail section.
These are only three skills every owner-chef of a seafood restaurant must know in order to do justice to the bountiful seafood options available in the Philippines. There are many other professional skills you can learn by attending a culinary arts course, which is why taking the time to take a short course is one of the best ways to prepare yourself for your new business.