Culinary School, part I

I just finished my first culinary class. It was intense, engaging, physically demanding, but also fun.  I made stock, deboned chickens, eviscerated fish, cut perfect julienne carrots, and whisked fresh hollandaise sauce.  I sautéed, roasted, blanched, and braised.  I also washed mountains of pots and pans, scoured stove tops, and scrubbed the kitchen floors.

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I learned a lot: like how correctly seared foods really make a dish and how to hold your knife in order to get the right leverage.  I also observed some interesting things about life as a culinary student, for example:

  1. As a culinary student, your fingers will forever smell like garlic.
  2. Culinary school is super fast paced.  You don’t putter in the kitchen, you sprint.
  3. As a female, at first you will feel incredibly unattractive in your chef outfit, but then you stop caring about how you look.
  4. You do so much cleaning with harsh chemicals and simply washing your hands so often that industrial hand moisture is a must.
  5. If you don’t have good shoes with good supportive soles you WILL get painfully messed up arches, a condition known as plantar faciitis.  And it super sucks.
  6. There will be a period of time when looking at food is not enjoyable.  But after about the first 8 weeks, you get over it and start to ogle food porn again (pinterest).
  7. Sometimes, dead fish still move when you are trying to clean and prepare it and it is super effing creepy! (See blog post Zombie Fish From Hell)
  8. For some reason I personally found deboning whole chickens and butchering/trimming meat very relaxing and kind of therapeutic.  I wonder what that says about me…
  9. Because you do it so often in the kitchen, you will naturally want to yell “behind” all the time at inappropriate places, like at the mall and especially when you are shopping at Costco.
  10. You have no time to cook for yourself!!  You are just swamped with readings, papers, reflections, prepping for class, and being in class itself.  I mostly lived off of Panda’s Express, vegan hot dogs, and grilled cheese sandwiches this past semester.  Oh the irony…

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