May 27, 2016

Culinary School Lesson 2



It was another evening of running towards school with a 30 pound bag of uniforms, knives and other tools. I sweated through my locker room routine, making sure I had on my pants, chef coat, apron, neckerchief, chef hat, and hall pass. Culinary school feels so masculine; the uniform erases almost all evidence that you’re a female, and then you spend hours working with knives, fire and steel under the supervision of male chefs, but I digress...

I ran upstairs to the Level 1 kitchen and made sure to take Chef’s advice and familiarize myself with the kitchen and everything in it. We covered all our knife cuts again, then moved on to food safety and finally, calibrated our meat thermometers in a bucket of ice water. We got another textbook to add to the pounds and the homework. I can kiss recreational reading goodbye for a while.

After dinner, I got to chatting with one of my classmates who told me she’s a midwife who hopes to do some catering on the side once she finishes culinary school. We bonded over our mutual feelings of being overwhelmed with homework, French words, and overloaded duffel bags. 

I’m loving the support from classmates and the higher level women in the locker room. I heard through the grapevine that most students feel overwhelmed in culinary the first few weeks, but that we’ll hit a point where we’ll actually start to enjoy school. 

I already feel some of the stress melting away because at least now I know where everything is, how to set up my station in the kitchen and how to tie my neckerchief. Tonight, I got up the energy and motivation to practice my taillage, as you’ll see above. I figured out some tricks to measuring with my knife and fingertips to get almost perfect cuts. 

After that, I watched the last episode of the Cooked series on Netflix, and felt a little spark of excitement for learning how to cook professionally. It looks like I might be getting the hang of this new life of mine.

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