This coming March I'm giving a presentation to a group of chefs at a conference in Canby, Oregon. My goal is to teach these chefs how to use the cast iron Dutch oven. After the mid-afternoon presentation, I'll host a dinner prepared in Dutch ovens.
My challenge is to tailor the workshop to the chefs without going into information overload. The fact that they're all accomplished cooks and kitchen leaders will simplify my task. I want to avoid giving a dry lecture, one that will send the chefs into zombie land.
Unlike Dilbert here, my PowerPoint slides will focus on one main point. I want to give them just enough detail to get started in Dutch oven cooking. Each chef will be able to go home, buy a Dutch oven and start cooking. They can learn advanced technique later.
After considering several approaches organizing the presentation, I rediscovered an on-line article in Backwoods Home Magazine. "Seven secrets of Dutch oven cooking" by Robert L. Beattie will provide the basis for my PowerPoint slide series.
Beattie's seven points walk the reader from purchase to cooking wonderful meals. The title of each of his "secrets" will be renamed to suit a chef's point-of-view. After helping the chefs buy the right the Dutch oven, we'll season it and discuss the right tools for the job.
In step four, I'll slow the process down a notch. I want the chefs to appreciate the importance of controlling the fire to their advantage. In the last three steps, the chefs will learn how I plan menus by focusing on three food groups (meat, vegetables/sides and breads).
I like Beattie's approach because it's to-the-point. It stays on the task of teaching the beginning Dutch oven cook. And the presentation will leave the chefs looking forward to the main show of the evening -- a dinner cooking in Dutch ovens.
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