How Do Chef Schools Work?

Culinary schools give aspiring chefs their best shot at making it to the big time, especially those admitted by the American Culinary Federation. Just like any other profession, many of the better hospitality establishments base their hiring practices not only upon the length of education the applicant provides, but also where that education was obtained. Tuition runs the gamut from relatively inexpensive courses offered by local community colleges all the way to the Culinary Institute of America's breathtaking $ 40,000 price tag. And what does not tuition cover? Oh, just uniforms, textbooks, cutlery, and other necessary kitchen equipment.

Curriculum different from school to school, but most of the culinary student's time is consumed in learning the ins and outs of cooking by actually doing it under close supervision. Participants not only prepare food, but also learn how to plan menus, minimize food costs, buy food and supplies in quantities, and how to appropriately choose and store food. Learning proper hygiene and local public health rules also play a large part in a culinary student's education.

Classes are sometimes offered all day, taking a complete eight hours, while at some schools, classes are broken into morning and afternoon sessions. There are usually lectures, and then demonstrations followed by hands-on practice time with students applying the techniques demonstrated earlier. Some schools even offer part-time professional classes to accomodate working cooks wanting to increase their formal education.

A number of educational seminars are available, among them:

The American Academy of Chefs Chair's Scholarship – Ten $ 1,000 scholarships awarded each year

The American Academy of Chefs Chaine des Rotisseurs Scholarship – Twenty $ 1,000 scholarships awarded annually

National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) – Three annual $ 2,000 scholarships for high school seniors and undergraduate students

Because years of training and experience are needed to reach the level of executive chef in most well-paying restaurants, many students are serious about this profession beginning their training in high school through voluntary programs, then go on to a two- or four-year college or university. Apprenticeship programs offer more training afterward, and these come from individual eating establishments and are given by a personal mentor or from professional institutions and associations such as the American Culinary Federation.

Apprenticeship lasts usually about three years and is most often known as the years of "grunt work" – doing all the chopping, grating, peeling, slicing, and washing necessary to prepare the ingredients for the chefs. Even cleaning appliances, sweeping and mopping floors, and other seemingly unaffiliated "chef" work gets done by the apprentice as part of his or her learning experience. Often this "trial-by-fire" period separates the truly devoted caf├ęs-to-be from those who are merely good cooks.

It is not impossible to attain the status of executive chef without the benefit of formal education, but in today's job market, most establishments (especially the finer hotels and restaurants) now require some type of certification to work in this capacity. Like a degree of any sort, formal training in the culinary arts may not mean you are another Julia Child or Paul Prudhomme, but it does at least signify that you've got what it takes to get through the school. So stop trying to think of ways to take shortcuts, get your tuition together, and go learn what you need to attain your dream!

What Can You Do When Your Mind Refuses To Write Your Sales Letter?

You need to write a sales letter but you can not find the words, the harder you try the less comes to mind. In the end you're left miserably staring at a blank piece of paper – What can you do?

Many people have told me that they face this kind of problem when it comes to writing their sales letter. No matter how hard they try and think about writing their letter they just can not seem to get things moving.

It's really frustrating and can happen to us all from time to time but there's a great way to get those ideas flowing and break out from the mental blocks. Let me ask you something first though …

Do you know your product?

I mean really know your product.

You see in order to be able to sell something you really have to know it in intimate detail. For instance how can you sell the benefits of Liposuction without you are a woman who's actually been through the process?

What do you know about it apart from heresay? You do not know whether there's any pain involved or whether there's a special diet you need to eat afterwards.

Do you know what feeling there is immediately after the operation? Do you look into the mirror and see the hour glass figure you were dreaming about before you went for the op, if not how do you feel deep down?

Are there feelings of anger and dismay or is there a deep sense of ecstasy as you look out and see the real you that was hiding inside that tired old body all the time?

Only someone who has really experienced those first fearful glances can honestly tell this with an emotion that rings true.

This is why you have to know every little thing that you can about your product before you sit down and try to write your sales letter.

Knowing and loving your product gives you the burning passion to tell all the world about it and is the first step in overcoming the dreaded blank screen that so many sit in front of for hours on end, unfortunately trying to write their sales letter.

So the first thing you need to do is to get hold of your product and fall in love with it – that means you actually have to go and buy, borrow or test drive it.

Look, you're going to be writing a story form your heart telling me exactly why I should buy your product from you. If you do not know and love it how can you in all truth and honesty tell me to buy it?

Ok, go and get your product, take it in your hands and start to use it. If it's a book read it, if it's a car drive it – Do whatever you have to do to get to know your product in the most minute detail.

Next list the reasons why it'll help me in my life – Will it help me make more money or will it help me get from A – B more quickly and in greater comfort?

How heavy is it? Is it easy to use? Does it have any weaknesses?

List everything down the good and the bad.

You need to understand why and how I will benefit from it, also why I should buy it from you instead of from somebody else.

An easy way to do this is by brainstorming.

The way you do this is to take a blank piece of paper and draw a small cicle in the middle, write your product's name in the middle of the circle.

Now it's time for you to get the magic going!

Look at the name of your product and write the very first thing that comes into your mind down on the paper.

Draw a line radiating out from the circle and write your thought at the end of that line.

Do not think or worry about spellling, just write. As Soon as you've finished writing one thought another will be there, draw another line and write that thought down also.

Soon you'll have so many thoughts hitting you that you will not be able to keep up – Just keep on going until you have nothing left inside your head.

This is such a stimulating exercise that it'll often leave you panting for breath!

Once you've finished all you need to do is look at what you've written and make a list of all the great ideas you have. List them in order of importance.

Now you have the outline for your letter.

Use the most important reason on the list, the main reason why I should buy your product (this is the largest benefit of your product) and turn this into a sensational headline.

Allow the ideas on the list to flow into your sales letter using sub-headlines when you need to emphasize a point, soon your letter will have almost written itself.

Finally, when you write your letter remember to only write it to one person at a time – make it personal!

That's it for now, go and grab your product, fall in love with it and start to list the reasons why I should buy it.

Go on do it Now!

Copyright 2006 Stuart Elliott

Vacations Are Fun, The Traveling With Kids Is Not!

Vacations are a time to remember. Years after a holiday we remember the merirement that we had enjoyed during a particular vacation. Although the holiday is memorable, traveling to the selected destination is probably the most tiresome part of the package. The process becomes even more tedious if you are traveling with kids.

Their low attention span and impatience is the primary reason why they get over excited wherever the destination is grandma's place or Hawaii. Not an hour passages by when parents hear the endless chime of 'when do we get there?'

Making these long car rides or a trip in the airplane is not as difficult as it may seem to a harassed parent. A wee bit of planning in advance to keep your young tykes in control will see you a long way. A variety of games will keep them engaged and divert their minds away from the long wearisome travel.

If you have not come across some games which are apt for travel time then here are a few. For bumpy car rides where children can not indulge in board games try 'spot the letter of the alphabet'. The game involves reading road signs or billboards and spotting the letters of the alphabet in the sequence. So if you come across 'Abacus building systems', the letters A, B, C, D and E are found.

In the next billboard they should look for F. This game is suitable to be played alone or with a sibling. Create a competition between two children by allotting one side of the road to each and see who reaches the end of the alphabet first.

Another extremely simple and interesting game which can be played while traveling on the freeway is 'license plates'. The objective of the game is to identify vehicles from different states using their license plates. Keep them busy by telling them to keep going till they see plates from all 50 states.

The tussle of managing a child on the airplane can be more embarrassing than a car drive. With a hollering baby you are sure to get dirty glances from the scores of passengers traveling on board. Coping with toddlers on a plane is easier since the journey is much smoother than a car ride and drop down trays can be used to play board games

If traveling with an infant, then make sure that your little one is comfortable to ensure a peaceful flight. Try and time your babies sleep to coincide with the flight timings. Feed your baby during take off and landing to reduce discomfort in the ears.

Planning activities specifically suited for travel will help you recall the vacation with fondness and visions of the harrowing time you had not cross your eyes every time you look back.

Bing SEO Techniques

Bing is one of the up and coming search engines in the online community today. I'm sure that you have seen the commercials that have telling you that they are the decision engine not the "search" engine. Pretty good when you think about it. Bing is trying to crawl up the ladder slowly but surely. There are many great reviews about bing from users around the world. Many say that Bing is easier to navigate, more interactive, better customer support, and is more faster and responsive than Google itself. You can search more information on Alexa.com. What does this mean for SEO? This means that Bing has plenty of knowledgeable people looking for specific types of information online and are starting to use Bing for answers before Google.

I'm not saying that Google is being threatened by them nor am needarily saying that Bing is better than Google. What I am saying is that you should pay close attention what is going on in the internet as opposed to listening to particular figures that narrow your mind only into a specific strategy or search engine, telling you that this is the only way you can get to people online which is preposterous.

There are three unique strategies that you can use to optimize on Bing.com. You are gong to have to do something a little different from what you have been told. First of all you first need to do a regular search on Google. Once you perform your keyword search on Google (using quotations on the keywords you are looking to use) you will want to take those same keywords or key phrases and place them in the bing search bar as well. You will want to analyze both results and see which one is the best ranked.

You should know that Bing does not favor domain keywords (ie xyz.com, .net, .info, etc.). Bing.com's own domain does not even rank that high their own search engine but they are in the top ten in Google. However, Bing does like EzineArticles.com and forums.

You will also want to use XHTML as oppose to HTML as Bing optimizes better for XHTML. You will want to be sure that you have the appropriate validation for your XHTML to suit the W3c standards. Bing is also big on meta tags. Google does not give much detail about the amount of characters for optimizing meta tags but Bing states that you should have original tags for each page that you want to establish and should be 25 to 150 characters, 874 characters in your keywords, and the most important keywords in your title and description. Keywords should not repeat more than 4 times or it will look like you are spamming.