Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Day 1 of Culinary School

Well not a whole lot to report about.

The first day we're introduced to our chef instructors (our class is so big-20, we have 2 instructors)

We watched a sanitation video. Lucky for me I'm already a hand washing freak. But boy it's apparent already that some are not.

Then we had a tour of our kitchen and common terms for some of the tools of the trade as well as appliances. (Low-Boy, Reach-In, Walk-in etc)

And with great anticpation (fan fare and drum roll please) it was time to start cutting stuff! Oh yeah. Chef Knight reveals the magic cart that is prepared for us each night and will contain many of the ingredients we will need for that evenings class. Oh..wait...for us I shouldn't say ingredientS it should have been ingredienT. Carrots. And lots of them. I haven't seen that many carrots even in the grocery store! Hell I don't think the carrot farmers have seen that many carrots in one spot.

And we learn proper knife handling (which is a good thing) and the cuts will be using for the next 2 weeks. Fine Brunoise (which in english means super fine dice), small dice, medium dice...gee I'm seeing a pattern. But learn I shall and find that if you paid attention while the chefs demo'd the cuts it was rather easy. So I grab my 3 carrots and go to town. I've finished one carrot and half way through my second when the chef comes over and taps me on the shoulder and says "You can stop cutting, you have it down." Yeah! I wish she had said that before my fingers turned orange. Oh you're laughing...remember what your fingers look like after you eat a bunch of cheetos? Yeah carrots do the same thing, only you can't lick it off.

So I clean my station (which I share with Matt who seems very new to cooking) and wash my dishes and then it dawns on me to look around the classroom. I'm not sure if I'm seeing this right..but there are some students who are still peeling their carrots. Now I know I can dice but I wasn't going fast at all. I was taking my time to ensure my cuts were up to the chefs standards. But still peeling? So there I stand..watching the class cut carrots. I have the urge to offer to help and have to literally squelch it - I am a student not a chef. So then I consider offering to the chefs "Anything you'd like for me to do?" but decide against that. I will not be viewed as teachers pet. I opt for reading my text book. My eyes weep when I see day two's schedule. Not sure if it's joy that it's not carrots or pain because it's onions.

I'm tired, my back hurts, my feet hurt and I find my appetite waning. I force myself to eat a sandwich as I post this and it makes me nauseous. But I must keep my energy up....those darn onions are going to rue the day I enrolled in Culinary School. I plan on getting a small digital camera so I can share some pictures here.

Here's to cooking! :)

PS - I forgot to mention that as we all left school for the evening, all the streets surrounding the school were blocked off by the police. Numerous squad cars, police tape of "Crime Scene Do Not Cross" were all over. As I looked down the street I see a body laying in the street. Looks like he came off a motorcycle but with all the police and whatnot I don't think it was just a typical accident. You just gotta love Los Angeles at night!


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