I don't look good in hats. That's going to be a problem because we have to wear one for chef school. I hope they're not too picky at Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts.
They have sent me a list of supplies I need:
-8 inch Chef knife
-3 inch paring knife
-vegetable peeler (apparently no chef should be without one of these)
-hard, closed toe shoes or "professional chef shoes"
-hair wrap (cap, hat or scarf)
-chef gear bag (not really sure what that is and haven't found one online either)
-instant read thermometer
and some computer software called Master Cook.
I like wearing a uniform. When I was a kid I was a girl scout and I had my little green polyester uniform that proudly pronounced, "Hey, look at me, I've got the cookies!"
Yesterday there was a post card from a personal chef on my car window. Basically it states that if you're tired of grocery shopping, hate to cook and never have time to make a decent meal you should hire this guy and he will do it for you. I respect his right to market this way however that is soooo not my philosophy about all of this.
First I am doing it for the experience. I have a handful of experiences in my life that I look back on and say were totally worth it and very rewarding. For example, the time I bought an old Victorian house in Denver and totally renovated it from the ground up. What an amazing experience (though mind you it was a lot of work and I would never do it again!). I want culinary school to be like that...just in and of itself a totally cool, fun, and engaging moment in my life. When I told my co-worker this he said I sounded very "Oprah-ish."
And, unlike the guy marketing on my car window, I come from an empowerment model. I want to teach people to cook. I want to help them have fun with it and reclaim it and nurture their bodies with it. And while I do understand how busy we can all be, I wonder how much of it we have been programmed into believing. Manufacturers came up with prepackaged food during the war for the soldiers. The question was how to market it to consumers post-war. It's interesting to think about these words from the book The United States of Arugula by David Kamp, "...the packaged-food companies would abandon any pretense of claiming their processed and frozen products were superior in taste, instead stressing their convenience. Cannily (and often with canned foods), these companies' advertising campaigns actually stigmatized the experience of spending hours in the kitchen...an ad for Minute Rice that sounds like it was written by someone hopped up on Dexedrine: 'Baby fussing? Dinner to get? When baby wants attention and Daddy wants dinner, your best friend is quick-quick Minute Rice!" could it be that on some level we are at least in part victims of marketing and rather than enjoy the preparation and dining experience with food and conversation we've been programed to think it a drudgery?
When my partner and I got together she would come to my place and we would have "The Kissing Lounge." We would have a cocktail called a French Kiss along with a plate of cheese, crackers and fruit. We would sit and sip our drink and eat and talk about our work day. Then we would go make dinner. We had a one drink limit so that we would not cut off a finger.
Ah well, I digress. So school starts April 1 and I will be spending the next few weeks checking off items on the list. Stay tuned for class updates...