Time Flies When You’re Having Fun
Russian Kale for American Bounty
Buckets of kale and collards from the school garden
Actually, time flies when you are doing what you love. Although at times it seems like the hand on the clock moves backwards during math class, days seem to go by like hours here. I’m not saying that every second feels like i’m working on the Food Network – because trust me it doesn’t, it is hard work. However, everyday feels like I am working towards my dream of someday working in the culinary industry.
I mentioned that I love Fridays last week, but not necessarily because it is last day before the weekend. I really enjoy my product knowledge class on Fridays. My chef welcomes any students interested to come before class to help prepare that days samples.
Learning how to properly clip kale so it will survive the winter and grow back next year
Same with the collards – we want them to come back next year too! I believe the restaurant smokes these collards and serves them with short ribs.
I am so glad that last Friday I decided to go. Since, we only had a small amount of food to prepare for class our chef invited us to go out into the school garden with him to pick Russian kale and collards for the American Bounty restaurant here on campus.
Last Friday in product knowledge we discussed seasonality and quality in regard to fruit. We tasted a combination of fruits – some in season and others off season. These macs are at the height of their season. They came from a local farm and they were delicious.
We tasted grapes, apples, oranges, blueberries and strawberries. The grapes and apple were the only two currently in season. Citrus is not in season until winter and blueberries are not in season until summer. The strawberries were very sweet but they were from CA.
Dried Bing cherries – a good way to enjoy fruit when it is not in season.
Strawberries and blueberries – we pass these bowls around the room as we taste and discuss them.
Friday I also had the exciting opportunity to meet Irena Chalmers, who is an acclaimed food author and blogger. Throughout her career she has helped students and professionals achieve their dream jobs in the culinary industry. Irena Chalmers also happens to be a writing professor and mentor here at the CIA,
On Friday she released her new book, Great Food Jobs 2. I somehow convinced my Food Safety instructor to let me sneak away a little early in order to attend her event here on campus. For an hour she shared hilarious stories with an intimate group of students and faculty at the CIA about her experience working in this industry – she’s had dinner with Julia Child…and that was just at the start of her career!
They raffled off a few of her new books and I was lucky enough to win one!
It was an incredible opportunity for me to meet Irena Chalmers because we share a passion for food and writing. She was excited about my interest in blogging and eager to offer me advice during my time here at the CIA.
I started reading her book immediately! It has so much insight into the culinary industry.
Here are some other pictures I took during my classes this past week!
Only at culinary school would you need a pairing knife and peeler for math class – we are learning about yield percentages for costing food.
Our library just recently added a student study center equip with a full kitchen for practicing knife cuts and piping skills.
Practicing knife cuts doesn’t really feel like cooking, but it is an essential part of our training here.
Chefs look for quality and consistency in knife cuts – easier said than done.
It was exciting to finally make something in class this week that we could eat for lunch. We made onion soup grantiee (classic French onion soup with a Gruyere crouton) and tomatoes duxelle (halved tomatoes stuffed with cooked mushrooms, shallots and garlic topped with garlic and herb breadcrumbs). I really enjoyed both of these dishes.
Duxelle stuffed tomatoes
The Grand Buffet – every month the Garde Manger class prepares a buffet before moving on to their next class. Most of the food for garde manger is served cold or at room temperature. It is mostly pates, terrines, forcemeats and cold salads. Not my favorite meal so far at the CIA but I tried it…
Pita and falafel before my academic classes. My academic classes are held in the afternoon since my kitchen classes are in the morning. They are on opposite days of the week, however. I never have a kitchen lab and academic class on the same day.
Vegetable pad thai from one of the cuisines of Asia kitchens
Working on more posts to come this week!