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Everything Always Comes Back to Math…

It seems that no matter where one goes in life you always have to take a math class. It’s funny because I remember asking math teachers “When am I ever going to use this?” Truth be told I didn’t need classes like trigonometry or calculus, but geometry is definitely something that I am glad comes easy to me because I will be using it along with other basic math skills for the rest of my life.

Being completely honest, I love math. It has always been an area where I grasp the concepts easily and can apply them quickly. I’m by no means saying that I won’t pull out a calculator to do the work, but at the same time I know how to do the problems on paper and can “show all work” if I have to. So all of that aside, I started out in Culinary or Collage Math thinking “OK this is going to be just another math class like any other.”

In some respects I was right in thinking this, and in others I was wrong. While, yes, this class was like all the other math classes I have taken in the past with the teacher lecturing about that days topic, and most of the students taking notes while others slept. It was also different in that from the very first day we were given real life examples of how or when we would use what was being taught to us. The teacher KNEW going in that we as students where at school to learn to be chefs not to do math. However with this in mind he did everything he could to make the math fun and help everyone understand the question of when, where, and why we would need to use what he was teaching us. I don’t think any student in the class once asked “When am I going to need this?”

Even now that the class is over and also while the class was going on I found myself using what I was learning in this class. From bakers percentages, and recipe conversions; to amount purchased(AP) and edible portions (EP) and yield percent. While everyone in class may have hated recipe costing it is still an invaluable tool and skill that we can use later on to know how much we should be charging on our menus to make back our food cost, non food cost, and even a little bit of profit. Looking back to my time in restaurants before school and seeing inventory turnover sheets as well as food cost sheets I know how to create them, and more important than that, I understand them.

Thus in the end of it all and at the end of the day, being a chef you still need math for not only the recipes that we make and converting them to bigger or smaller portions, but also to help us have a successful business. Because in the end everything always comes back to math…

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