The Mente Argentina Professional Chef Degree Program boasts an impressive faculty that consists of successful professionals with a passion for culinary arts and teaching. They practice and teach the most cutting edge culinary techniques in the industry. They are among some of the best in their fields of specialization and there are instructors from various areas of expertise who know how to teach students to excel in these areas. Mente Argentinas culinary institute has designed everything to facilitate the highest level of gastronomic education.
All of our accommodation options are located in the most exclusive neighborhoods in Buenos Aires such as Palermo, Belgrano, Barrio Norte or Recoleta, close to public transportation, so that you can safely and easily navigate the city during your stay. All accommodations are reviewed prior to student check-ins to make sure that they are clean, shared with welcoming and friendly roommates or families so that you can enjoy a comfortable and pleasant experience from the very beginning.
If you are looking for an independent living situation where you can easily meet other students in Buenos Aires, this is the perfect option for you. Your roommates will be other students between 20 and 30 years old who are working, studying or doing both things in Buenos Aires. The facilities include: private room, cable TV, cleaning service, towels and sheets, kitchen access (fully equipped), free WiFi, and all utilities are included as well.
Homestays are the ideal option for students who are looking for consistent interaction with Argentines, open to different living situations, and willing to adapt to the structure and values of the host family. Learn about cultural traditions and daily life of your host family. They are committed to making sure that you have a fulfilling experience. The facilities include: private room, cable TV, towels and sheets, etc.
Mente Argentina offers students the chance to live in dorms that are located in two of the best neighborhoods in Buenos Aires. If you are young, have a tight budget, and dont mind sharing your room with other people, this might be the right option for you. The facilities include: towels and sheets, optional meal plan, shared bedroom, internet access & computer lab, and a common dinning, TV, and WiFi area.
Private apartments provide participants with the most privacy and independence. In every apartment there is a bedroom, bathroom, living room, kitchen, a local phone and internet access. Living alone, you will have the opportunity to get to know Buenos Aires at your own pace. If you are expecting visitors during your time here or prefer being on your own, this might be the best option for you.
In recent years, developments in the gourmet food and restaurant industry as well as an increase in demand for high quality service have triggered a need for trained professional chefs internationally. With this in mind, Mente Argentina has designed a program adapted to the ever evolving needs of international gastronomy.
This is an intensive program, created specifically for students who are passionate about gastronomy and expanding their culinary skill set. Aspiring chefs in the Mente Argentina Professional Chef Degree Program will take intensive classes for five months which cover the same content as a 2 year Culinary Arts degree program.
Students will learn to plan and organize various types of kitchen operations, such as: restaurant, hotel, and catering company. In just five months, graduates will master basic and advanced cooking techniques. Students will learn the gastronomic concepts behind their practical skills which will allow them to independently create original recipes using both classic and modern culinary theory.
In addition to learning all about cooking and food, the student will obtain a comprehensive education in marketing, costs and budgets, and an introduction to wine. The student will have command of all practical and technical facets of cooking and kitchen and restaurant management, where they will also learn how to plan and execute their own culinary endeavors.
This course seeks to foster professional chef skills starting with an awareness of the kitchen team and their various roles in running a successful service. Students will learn how to prepare la mise en place, which includes learning vegetable classification and cutting techniques. They will learn about all different types of knives, cookware, and ovens and when and how to use them.
The course then moves on to an introduction to cooking which involves learning facts and theories of cooking methods, and the classification of cooking techniques: boiling, poaching, steaming, braising, stewing, frying, sauting, grilling, broiling, baking, glazing, browning. Students will also engage on a practical level as they learn sauces: definitions, main sauces and derivatives, and finish with a study of main courses.
The course begins with a theoretical introduction, including la pate a choux and ptissire crme. Students will learn how to make a variety of basic dough: mass brise, mass, and mass sable sucre. Instruction will continue onto meringues: Italian, French and Swiss. Students will also learn custard, mousses, parfait, bavarois, smoothies, heavy shakes, and other desserts.
The course will educate students on cost and budget concepts and classification. Instructors will outline budget objectives and functions considering realistic costs in a gastronomic business. Students will learn costing methods, costs for decision making, cost standards and tools for use. The course will cover the Contribution Margin, breaking even, budget and budgetary control.
Students will gain an understanding of the advantages of budgetary control, requirements for making a budget, sequence processing, classification of budgets, as well as budget control and variations. Students will engage in a budget planning project and a project which requires them to create a plan to improve profits. This is an essential course for chefs and restaurant owners alike.
Instruction begins with the theory of tasting including basic tastes and their location within the mouth. Students will apply their knowledge while tasting domestic and imported wines, as well as wines from different grape varietals and wines from various regions of the country and around the world. The course will discuss the winemaking process, classification, and the aging and conservation of wines.
Students will learn the importance of menu presentation and protocol for taking command and types of commands. Instruction will encompass cutlery maintenance and hygiene, management and utilization of china, dish and tray transport, and management and use of glassware. Students will learn how to install stations, and perform different types of service: American, English, French, and Russian.
Students will be able to plan and execute wine courses with the help of a sommelier as they learn his/her functions and qualities. Students will gain an understanding of the different types of wine bottles, the glasses intended for each type of wine and service, wine decanting and redirecting as well as types of corks- according to manufacture, measure, and classification.
This course emphasizes the importance of food safety and hygiene by educating students on food borne diseases, food poisoning, food alterations and ways to avoid combustion, as well as types of unpleasant food contaminations and ways to avoid them. Students learn what the responsibilities of the Chef are in such situations and common dangers and risks in the kitchen in this area
Students will be able to identify critical control points, standards of hygiene, air, and water. Instruction will also cover hygienic, sanitary kitchen design, heath regulations, and Good practices (BMP) applications. Hygienic practices are often forgotten but actually play a huge role in safety. Food poisoning is not a light matter. It's best to prevent it entirely, starting with food storage.
Students will learn about dough and gluten development as it is crucial to understanding the technical nature of baking. The course will also cover flour composition and function, and salt composition and function. Students will master knowledge of dairy products, specifically, butter and milk and their compositions and functions. Baking is an exact science.
Instruction will include a study of yeast, its composition, function, and fermentation methods. Students will advance to making flavored breads, and French bread, when they will also master the sponge working method and the method of direct labor. Students will also learn to identify the causes of defects in baking bread and how to avoid such errors.
This course will teach students how to make basic pasta dough and cuts of pasta, as well as stuffed pasta of different cuts with various fillings. Students will learn how to use natural and artificial coloring, and how to cook and store pasta. The course will also cover classic Italian pasta sauces, gnocchi, open, and closed pastas and how they are all used in restaurants.
The course will begin by defining marketing and looking at its fundamental concepts. Students will progress to a study of strategic planning and the market. Students will look at the competitiveness of gastronomic companies and both the macro-environment and microenvironment of companies. Students will consider demographics, economics, technology and culture in their marketing plans and demand analysis.
Instructors will explain the determinants of demand and consumer behavior, and how to use that information to position your marketing approach in the consumer's mind. By the end of the course, students will have mastered the marketing mix: product, price, place, and promotion. This is an exciting course as it will push you to be creative, formulating ways on how to make customers come to you and not the other way around.
There are two types of cooking lessons you will experience in the Mente Argentina Cooking School. The first is the International Cuisine group lessons where you will be taught at one of the most recognized cooking schools in Buenos Aires. The second is the Private Argentinean cooking lessons where you will experience a real Argentinean cooking environment and learn some typical dishes from Argentina, which cannot be taught at a conventional school.
Each faculty member leads hand-on-training sessions, field trips, lectures and consulting projects. They are experienced professionals, yet they are accessible, involved teachers who are committed to providing their students with an exceptional educational experience. With their extensive knowledge of culinary arts and years of experience, they can help you create and refine your own unique culinary style.
Buenos Aires city tour: A city with a fascinating history and with a very active social and political life. Our city tour shows the highlights of Buenos Aires while covering the history of Argentina and its people. Learn about the events that have shaped Buenos Aires when visiting the National Congress, Casa Rosada (Main Government Building), Manzana de las Luces (the first site for the University of Buenos Aires), Argentine Workers Union Building, Evita Museum, and San Telmo, among others.
Graffiti street art tour: If you love street art or just want to see a different side of the city, this is a great opportunity to explore the world of graffiti in Buenos Aires. This tour promotes the extraordinary street art scene in Buenos Aires. The tour takes participants to secret graffiti hotspots and art galleries, while explaining the context and origins of one of the most unique urban art scenes in the world. We finish the tour in the citys only stencil bar where artwork is ready for purchase.
La Boca - San Telmo - Puerto Madero tour: This is a wonderful opportunity to discover the historic part of Buenos Aires. The tour starts in the colorful, scenic neighborhood of La Boca. Then, we will visit the Boca Juniors Football Stadium. Then we will walk along the narrow streets one of the oldest neighborhoods in San Telmo where we will talk about the origins of Tango. Finally, we end the tour in one of the most exclusive, and modern neighborhoods of the city, Puerto Madero.
La Bomba del Tiempo percussion show: All of our programs include free passes to a concert where you can dance the evening away at an incredibly unique show from a 17-piece improvisational drum group. They incorporate Central American and African rhythms with samba and Argentine folk beats. Musicians play a wide variety of drums like congas, djembes, maracas, and bells. The ultra hip Konex Cultural Center has been hosting the drum group for over four years and it is always one of their most popular events.
Night out: Experience a different side of Argentine culture and hospitality while enjoying locally made liquors. The Mente Argentina staff will take all of the students out to a local bar to drink a couple Quilmes cervezas (Argentine beers) or fernets (a popular liquor in Argentina). This is a fun way to meet everyone studying in Buenos Aires with Mente Argentina! Our coordinators love sharing local hot spots with students and enjoying a little bit of the incredible nightlife together!
Pub crawl: We regularly go on pub crawls in different neighborhoods of the city, stopping by three bars and ending the night at one of Buenos Aires most well known clubs! The pub crawl is a great way to meet other international people studying in Buenos Aires, people just traveling through Argentina, and other Mente Argentina participants. This includes: Free pizza, beer, and wine for the first hour, complimentary shooters at each bar, drink discounts, transportation to the club and free admission!
Tango lessons and milonga: No one should leave Argentina without trying to learn tango - la danza del abrazo -the dance of the embrace. Tango originated in Buenos Aires and is an integral part of the citys culture and history. Group lessons will teach you basic steps while you have fun with your friends. You will also have the chance to go to a milonga (tango dance club) where people of all ages come to dance tango to live music. It is a great opportunity to experience Argentine culture.
Tigre and Delta tour: The delta of the Ro de La Plata, located 20 miles away from Buenos Aires is an ideal day tour spot for porteos and tourists alike. People come from Buenos Aires and surrounding areas to spend the day by the river, shop in the outdoor market, and enjoy the beauty of the delta. During our visit to Tigre, we will see the Parque de La Costa, the Puerto de Frutas (outdoor market), and take a boat tour which will allow you to see the sights of Puerto Tigre (Tigre's harbor).
Bariloche and Puerto Madryn Tour: Bariloche, known for its stunning scenery, is undoubtedly the most popular southern city visited by people from all over the world. Bariloches mountains, lakes, glaciers, forests, hiking trails, and ski resorts are part of its natural beauty and allow for a wide variety of year round activities. Puerto Madryn, is famous for its scenic location on the southern coast, which makes it an unparalleled destination for whale watching and penguin watching. This quiet seaside city is a bird and sea life reservation with incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Colonia, Uruguay Tour: Only one hour away from Buenos Aires by ferry, Colonia, Uruguay is located on the opposite bank of the Rio de la Plata. Colonia is perfect for a day trip or a weekend getaway. This distinctive little town is characterized by cobblestone streets, historic buildings, rustic restaurants, shops and quaint bed & breakfasts. Similar to other destinations in Uruguay, Colonia also has beautiful ocean views and quiet beaches.
El Calafate Tour: a city in Patagonia, Argentina. It is situated in the southern border of Lake Argentino, in the southwest part of the Santa Cruz Province. Building on its must visit location, El Calafate has grown quickly to cater to and profit from the visitors to nearby Los Glaciares National Park. Many visit to see such natural wonders as Perito Moreno Glacier, a massive glacier thats actually composed of many other pieces of shifting ice. Yet travelers will find that El Calafate is much more than merely a gateway to the Patagonian wildits a fun town offering all sorts of outdoor adventures.
Iguazu Falls: The Iguazu Falls are located in the Province of Misiones in Argentina, on the borders of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. The massive waterfalls of the Iguazu River are the most impressive part of an already stunning landscape. The national park home to the falls is also famous for its plant life and wild life which make it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Argentina.
Mendoza: Mendoza, in the foothills on the eastern side of the Andes Mountains, is one of the most beautiful provinces in Argentina. It is best known as Argentinas wine region, but its natural beauty also makes it a popular destination for those who want to hike, raft and mountain climb. The main industries in Mendoza are olive oil production and wine making. The Greater Mendoza region is the largest wine producing area in Latin America making Mendoza one of nine cities worldwide in the network of Great Capitals of Wine. Mendoza is perfect for wine lovers who want to learn more about the Argentinas famous Malbec, tour the wineries and see the breathtaking vineyards where the grapes are grown.
Montevideo and Punta Del Este: Montevideo is the pleasant capital city of Uruguay, a country in South America. It is situated on the east bank of the Rio de la Plata and is the southernmost capital city in South America. Punta del Este is a beach resort town in Uruguay complete with casinos, beaches, yachts and lots of tourists. It is known for its beaches, surfing, beautiful people and an ardent night scene. There are many travel sights, including the amazing restaurants. It's been called the Monaco of South America.
Salta and Juju: Known as "Salta la linda" (Salta the beautiful), it is one of the Argentine provinces that has worked to preserve its colonial architecture as well as its natural features. The variety and beauty of the landscapes in the provinces of Salta and Jujuy are spectacular: the magnificence of their mountains, valleys, gorges, and the plant life in their national parks are just some of their main attractions. Numerous villages, monuments and historic sites like pre-colonial ruins complement excellent gastronomy, museums and shopping.
"Hi, I am Stephanie from Ohio, and I go to the University of Michigan. I came to Argentina to learn a little bit about cooking, wine, and Spanish. I had a great time in my courses. I met a lot of people and in courses I learned about the tasting, and the procedure about making wine, it made me very confident about what I want to do in the future. I also cooking classes, some were in culinary professional school while others were particular classes with a professional cook, and overall it was so much fun. I highly recommend, I had a great time!"
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"If you are considering Mente Argentina, I highly recommend it, as I had a great experience here. I had experience in Argentina before this program, so I came with a lot of expectations and I wasn’t disappointed. I really liked the excursions, because they were a social time, but also they were opportunities to see Argentina as we were locals, because when you live in a place you have a completely different experience than by visiting for a weekend or something like that. I highly recommend that you leave all your expectations back home and that you bring your eyes and heart open for the food, the wine, the people, speaking Castellano, speaking Lunfardo, all the gestures and everything, the people working here were fantastic, so I highly recommend that you come through Mente Argentina. Que tengan suerte y felicidades!"
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"Hi, I am Brad from Denver, Colorado, and I did the intensive Spanish program and the cooking program, at the Culinary School and also in one-on-one lessons with a chef. She was fantastic, she gave me all the classic recipes from Argentinian cuisine, from empanadas to pastas to steaks to desserts, everything. All the ingredients were always ready for us, they gave us lots of helpful tips on how to tweak the recipes a little bit. We had so much fun together, not only cooking, but I also made a lot of long term friends and we interchanged tips between ourselves and we made delicious food. The Spanish program was also great, I took some classes back in the States, but here, the classes were better. They were small, but we learned a lot of Spanish because they were about 4 hours. You earn a lot and they always helped you in any questions, and I got a huge improvement in just one month. Overall, I had a great experience with Mente and all the activities they provided us, at night or during the weekends were so much fun and just a great way to see the city, so definitely do that!"
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"My name is Jerry and I was in Buenos Aires for five months in addition of two months studying Spanish. I came here with very little of the language and that was what I wanted, part of the challenge. Fortunately with Mente I had great help into getting acquainted with the city, like organizing the program and making the whole process a lot easier. I cannot imagine doing that without someone here helping me, it would have been ridiculous. I recommend to everyone to having the opportunity to learn what I learned here in a very economical price compared to the United States or anywhere else in the world. It was a great experience; Buenos Aires is a beautiful place."
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"Hello everyone, my name is Goose, I am from Holland, and I did a cooking program with Mente which was great. Great teachers, great lessons, especially Mercedes, she was a great cook and teacher. She told me a lot of things in her house. I went to a Boca Game and it was super cool! Buenos Aires is great, thank you Mente for all the great times here, they were very professional and helpful and friendly! Can’t wait to be back."
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"Hi, I am Nick and I did the Mente Argentina cooking program and I had a great time. I learned everything about traditional Argentinian food, dulce de leche, alfajores, really fun and laid back. I love my experience; I’m going to miss Buenos Aires. Mente staff was awesome and if you need help they are always there. I couldn’t be happier. My apartment was great too!"
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