Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Day 1 – APCA – The Tone is Set

Well tonight marked our first night in APCA. Our new Chef instructor is Chef Mena. She comes to us with a lot of experience. Not only has she worked for a renowned chef – Wolfgang Puck, but she also has a lot of catering experience and has taught every phase of class this school has to offer. She seems very strict which I love! She has openly said that if she asks us to do a small dice and she sees a medium dice, she’ll have us start over. Our tests will not be structured but pop quizzes. She feels that by not knowing when our tests will be, it will force us to review everyday, thus keeping the information readily available. I only have one problem with this is I work full time, then the 2 hour commute. The only time I have to review is on the weekends. I’ll have to wait and see how this plays out.

The afternoon class was finishing up their first night of lecture when I arrived. The chef was telling them “It’s amazing how 2 pages in your text book turns into 5 hours of lecture…” We were also told that the first night of class is all lecture no cooking. Yeah well I also believe in always being prepared so I came with all my stuff and gear.

We didn’t get started on our lectures until almost 7pm. The newbies were in the dining hall with us and they had to get their introductions. Now why on earth they couldn’t do it in their labs I have no clue. We had ours in our lab. But because of that our Chef had to wait before she could start on ours. So I’m thinking ok it’s gonna be a long night of lectures…but at 8:45 she told us to start pulling all the leftover items out of the walk-ins and get cooking. Everyone was like “Huh?!” I knew this was a test. She wanted to see several things – Who was working with whom, who did what, creativity etc. We ended up cooking a lot of different things. I got a whole bunch of mushrooms and sautéed them in butter and then added red wine and thyme and reduced them quickly. I must say, yummy. ‘A’ did some steaks, Eddie and Lynndy did pan seared chicken breasts, Wayne (He’s our new guy. He was in class B and decided to move over to our class. Jury is out on him) did eggs with peppers. She didn’t want us all doing the same thing, so I called out I was doing sautéed mushrooms. Sure as anything, 2 didn’t listen and asked me what I was doing. So I told them directly and damn if they still didn’t do another form of sautéed mushrooms. Arg.

I’m happy we got to eat. I was starving! Tomorrow we begin prepping for Pork Chop night. I so remember going to my first Pork Chop night and now here I am preparing for it. The dynamics of our personalities will come out a lot more in this class than any other I believe because we do not do anything individual. Everything we do we do as a team. And some are not team players. Bring it on! Be sure to wear your safety belts kids!

Until Tomorrow!...


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