How did this happen? I've been in culinary school for 2 whole weeks now and I haven't posted a thing! So much to tell you about...
The first day of class finally arrived on April 1 for 9 very passionate culinary students. Here we are in our chef garb just this past Saturday, which was the first time we were allowed in the kitchen. As you may remember, I was all worried about the hat. In the end I found the perfect purple and blue striped cotton and hemp hat, even locally made. (I'm the one front and center -- note the hat.)
And just what do they teach in culinary school? Well, we had 5 classes before we were even allowed in the kitchen. There was instruction on kitchen basics like measurements (yes, math conversions--never one of my favorite subjects in school). So you take a recipe that serves 4 and make it serve 45. Believe me those 3 tablespoons become a nightmare. There was also nutrition analysis, macro- and micronutrients, sanitation, and then finally we got into the kitchen to learn knife skills. We were each loaded down with carrots, celery, potatoes, onions, basil, bell peppers, jalepenos, and more. And there was my little cheat sheet of all the cuts--chiffonades, cubes, fine dices, etc.--quickly bloodied by the juice of a strawberry sliced into a decorative fan and by the drippings from a supremed blood orange.
And you should see what Chef Brian Keane did with the bell pepper. I've never seen anything like it. He cut off the top and the bottom. The stem popped right out of the top leaving an impressive ring for garnishing. He then made one vertical cut and opened up the pepper. He took out the ribs and laid the pepper out flat. From there he was able to cut it into even strips. I, for one, was quite impressed by this.
Though we have "guest appearances" by other chefs, our main instructor is Chef Karen Diggs.
Well, I need to go sharpen my knife and my mind!