Monday, October 28, 2013

Lessons Learned in the CIA's IPP Class

Lessons Learned in the CIA's IPP Class

Individual & Production Pastry (IPP) is a very unique class for first year students. It is the first pastry class where they are expected to produce a high volume amount under time constraints. It is also the first time they work as a team rather than individually.
Working as a Team
As we all know, working in a team environment can pose many issues. Some teams work flawlessly together, while others may have so many issues that they are unable to focus on the task at hand. At times, the problem may be a weaker student paired with a stronger student, the stronger student ends up feeling burdened and resentful. Without fail, you have teams with strong-minded people fighting for dominance. No matter the situation, it is very important for the students to have these experiences. They may have similar concerns facing them in their careers, and need to learn to deal with them effectively, and in a positive, professional manner. The bottom line is, no matter what problems they are facing in their respective teams, they need to produce a quality product within the time frame given. The guest needs to be served on time!

Consistency, Consistency, Consistency!
Establishing hand-eye coordination and exceptional attention to detail is another challenge facing the IPP students. When you are first learning how to perform a task it is best to take your time and have a successful outcome, instead of rushing and producing a sloppy product. Here in IPP, the products must be done quickly with precision, and be beautiful when completed. They must all look exactly the same. Each team is responsible for supplying pastries for an in-class buffet that we set-up on the marble table with white linens and plexi-glass risers. When they look at their products lined up, it is easy to identify any issues they had with production and uniformity from one pastry to another. In IPP it is stressed that all products are the same in order to deliver the same quality to every guest. For instance, if you are selling a slice of Frasier in your bakery for $5.00, and one is half the size of the other, you cannot expect the guest to pay the same price for a smaller product, which means you have to take a loss on that product. The student must begin to think about profitability. Working fast and consistently will yield positive results every time.

The majority of students that complete IPP are more confident, and as a class they work more coherently. I am able to watch them grow in their professionalism and skill set in just three weeks time. It is a very rewarding class to instruct.

You can view more photos from IPP at Chef Fritz’s tumbler page:
Want a student's perspective? Check out this post from CIA Student Blogger Morgan.

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