While there are many worthy online learning courses specifically aimed to improve culinary skills and techniques there is a lot of value in exploring broader subjects as a way to upskill while on coronavirus lockdown.
It is thought that many restaurants simply won’t make to the other side of the coronavirus crisis, with some experts predicting as many as 75% of them closing their doors permanently. That means the restaurant industry is going to be seriously competitive when people hit the ground after public place restrictions are lifted.
Culinary skills are essential on you curriculum when applying for a new chef or kitchen position, but why not take a course in something else, to show open-mindedness and to show something more of your personality, to make your application stand out and help you get that new restaurant job? Here are some free online courses for chefs that are not cooking or culinary skills-based and could give a chef the edge during the hiring process.
This BerkleyX course is very useful for chefs to learn research-based strategies to help foster mindfulness, handle stress, and guard against burnout. Build resilience to stress and fortify well-being in the face of challenges. The course explains the biological and psychological impact of stress and helps to distinguish between harmful and helpful forms of stress at work, while providing strategies for handling stress in healthy and productive ways.
2- The Meat We Eat (Coursera)
An overview of the current economic, scientific, agricultural and ethical issues facing the meat industry and how they can be translated into better, more informed choices for the consumer.
This course by the Mindful Kitchen will explore how what you eat reflects your identity, mental well being and can be a tool for creating the change you want to see in the world. A look at food through the lenses of cultural anthropology, climatology and eco-psychology to explore how society collectively values food.
4- The New Nordic Diet - from Gastronomy to Health (Coursera)
This course developed with the University of Copenhagen and the people behind Noma is based on research into the New Nordic Diet, effect on acceptability, behaviour and learning skills, and disease prevention.
5- Food for Thought: The Relationship Between Food, Gut and Brain (FutureLearn)
An introductory course to the complex relationship between the brain and the gut. On this course you can explore how neurology, the microbiome and more interact to affect health. Learn how diet crucially affects the brain, and how the brain affects diet. Recent scientific discoveries have shown the importance of the link between gut and brain and are the foundation of this course.
6- Nutrition and Health: Food Risks (edX)
Learn to navigate the minefield that is food safety and the dangers within our food chain, from pesticides in fruit to bacteria in meat. Learn the effects of food processing, the shared responsibility in the food chain and the prevention of food poisoning/intoxication. After this course, you will be able to differentiate what is a food myth vs. an actual risk.
7 - Child Nutrition and Cooking, Stanford
With the western world facing an obesity epidemic, child nutrition and culinary education becomes ever more important to ensuring a healthier next generation. This course will help prepare students to be the leading health providers, teachers and parents of the present and future. A certification is available with completion of the course.
8 - The Science of Well-Being, Yale
Professor Laurie Santos reveals misconceptions about happiness, annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do, and the research that can help us change. You will ultimately be prepared to successfully incorporate a specific wellness activity into your life. Learn how to apply science to affect your well-being and improve your quality of life.