Types of Meals, Meal Courses, Presentation for Home and Professional Cooks
Whether you are a professional or home cook, you must know the various types of meals .You must understand components of various foods and different meal courses. It will help you in preparing world class meals for your family or clients. Meals are classified depending on the number of courses it consists;
a.) A meal may consist of one or more courses.
b.) A course may consist of one or more complete dishes.
First you must understand three main food categories:
b.) Main Course
An appetizer (starter)
It is considered as the first course in a formal dinner. It is a small amount of food or drinks taken to stimulate appetite. It can be either a soup with bread rolls or bread croutons or a juice or fruit punch,
A main course
Is the main dish which is consists of a protein food, carbohydrate and vegetable. It’s served after the appetizer and before the dessert.
It’s a sweet dish usually served after the main course in a meal. It assists in digestion.
Examples of meals
(a) A one- course meal (main course meal)
It consists of a protein, carbohydrate and vegetable food. Include: Beef stew, Ugali, Fried sukumas (kales)/Spinach. It can be accompanied by a sauce, gravy or vegetable salad if the food is dry whereby it is referred to as an Entrée.
(b) A two — course meal
It consists of either a starter and also a main course or a main course and a dessert. E.g
(1) A starter and a main course
Soup and bread rolls: Mutton curry, Boiled rice, Mixed vegetable
(ii) A main course and a dessert
A roasted chicken/gravy, Mashed potatoes, Boiled peas and carrot, Fruit salad
(iii) A three — course meal
It consists of a starter, a main course and a dessert.
E.g. Orange juice Beef stew, Buttered rice, French beans/carrots, Plain cake with custard
(d) A formal dinner
It has six or more courses. Tea or coffee may be provided. Cold beverages (aperitifs) may be served before the dinner is served.
Food preservation is serving of prepared food in readiness for eating to make it attractive and interesting to stimulate appetite. This involves:
a.) Food serving
b.) Decorating and garnishing food.
c.) Use of clean and appropriate serving dishes or platters.
Food must be prepared in hygienic environments and presented in an appealing manner. Consider needs of the people you are preparing the meal for. You must ensure that the meal is well balanced.