Michael Ruhlman and Macroons
Michael Ruhlman and macaroons….needless to say it’s been a pretty good week here at the CIA! This week I had the opportunity to meet my idol in the realm of food writing, Michael Ruhlman. He came to the CIA this past Wednesday to give a lecture to students and sign copies of his newest book: The Book of Schmaltz.
He began with his unconventional story that lead him to eventually attend the CIA. He aspired to be a journalist and fiction writer, but he needed to find work. Ruhlman was intrigued by The Culinary Institute and he wanted to reveal the journey of culinary students, so decided to find away to attend the school. He had no intention of becoming a chef, however, he wanted to captivate the experience of culinary school and turn it into a book: The Making of a Chef.
Ruhlman also spent a good portion of his time answering CIA student’s questions and offering advice. He told us not to follow our passions but rather to follow what we are good at. He believes that if you work hard enough at something you are good at, the passion and money will eventually follow.
He also explained how our country’s perspective of chefs has changed drastically since his time at the CIA. There has never been a higher demand for chefs or a more food obsessed country. America is confused about the conflicting advertised diets, food trends and health messages. Future chefs need to be able to effectively educate the public about their food choices.
This week we had a condensed week of classes, meaning we had two weeks worth of classes in one week. We have to make up all the classes that we would have had if we were not on break later this week.
We had an eventful week in Fundamentals with our first practical and new team assignments. This week we learned the concepts braising and glazing.
This week in product knowledge we studied the different varieties of tubers and onions. We sampled multiple varieties of potatoes and onions. Even though potatoes are a common staple in our diets it is still important to taste them while learning about them. It helps us understand their starch content and moisture, which helps determine the best method for cooking them.
This week I had a healthy diet of macaroons and lots of Italian food….
This week we have two more days of classes until Thanksgiving break. Even though I am having a ton of fun here at school, I could not be more excited to cook, eat and spend time with my family for a few days!