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Culinary arts, in which culinary means "related to cooking", are the cuisine arts of food preparation, cooking, and presentation of food, usually in the form of meals. People working in this field – especially in establishments such as restaurants – are commonly called "chefs" or "cooks", although, at its most general, the terms "culinary artist" and "culinarian" are also used. Table manners ("the table arts") are sometimes referred to as a culinary art.

Expert chefs are required to have knowledge of food science, nutrition and diet and are responsible for preparing meals that are as pleasing to the eye as they are to the palate. After restaurants, their primary places of work include delicatessens and relatively large institutions such as hotels and hospitals.

Image of a chef preparing food

An integral part of the culinary arts are the tools, known as cooking or kitchen utensils, that are used by both professional chefs and home cooks alike. Professionals in the culinary arts often call these utensils by the French term "batterie de cuisine".[3] These tools vary in materials and use. Cooking implements are made with anything from wood, glass, various types of metals, to the newer silicone and plastic that can be seen in many kitchens today.

Within the realm of the culinary arts, there is a wide array of different cooking techniques that originate from various cultures and continue to develop over time as these techniques are shared between cultures and progress with new technology. Different cooking techniques require the use of certain tools, foods and heat sources in order to produce a specific desired result. The professional kitchen may utilize certain techniques that a home cook might not, such as the use of an expensive professional grill but, cooking methods of various kinds can be found in any kitchen at virtually any point in modern human history.[4]

Professional study

Modern culinary arts students study many different aspects of food. Specific areas of study include butchery, chemistry and thermodynamics, visual presentation, food safety, human nutrition and physiology, international history, the manufacture of food items (such as the milling of wheat into flour or the refining of cane plants into crystalline sucrose), and many others.

Training in culinary arts is possible in most countries around the world. Usually at tertiary level (university). With institutions government funded, privately funded or commercial.

See also