The Night Before
I could barely sleep the night before. I spent what seemed like hours figuring out my train ride, only to decide I would drive. I laid out my jacket, pants, hat, ugly/comfy shoes, and apron. I put my tool kit in front of the door, I was not going to forget it. I woke up for my 9:00AM class like I was going to work to be there at 7:00AM. I arrived at 7:30AM. I was googling pictures of chefs trying to figure out if it mattered what side to button the chef’s coat
The Morning Of
I couldn’t decide if I should take my chef’s coat on a hanger or in my backpack. I settled on my backpack, and just as I got to the door I decided to put the chef jacket in a dress bag and put that in a gym bag with everything else. I know, way too much time on my hands. I headed to the city, no traffic, clear mind, and excited to get started.
I drove around for 30 minutes looking for a parking spot, with no luck, so I settled on a parking garage. $35 later, I headed into the building. The woman at the front took my picture for my school ID, and issued my personal locker to me. I headed to the locker room to get changed and put my things in the locker. I was all set, with everything that I needed. I put my brand new lock on the locker and it was a little snug, but it fit. Before I headed to our kitchen classroom I tried to remove the lock, that thing would not budge, it was stuck. Long story short, on the first day I was the chic that had to have her brand new lock cut off of her locker and hustle down stairs to Rite Aid for a new lock.
Day 1 Class
Although we didn’t do anything as far as cooking, just being in the kitchen setting up our knife kits was a thrill.
We also learned how to set up the kitchen when we start everyday. Set up includes setting up your dish water (Soap water sink, neutralizing sink to rinse, and sanitizer sink).
I was glad that food safety was one of the first things we learned as well. You know when you find learning about the parasites, and pathogens in food interesting, you are in the right place. We also discussed what life looks like post course work and shared our desires to be restauranteurs, caterers, fine dining chefs, and bar/restaurant owners. That of course, brought anxiety and excitement to the kitchen all over again.
Day 2 Class
We turned on the stove!!! We cleaned vegetables, that is not simply rinsing them, that includes peeling them as well.
We made Tomato Concasse or concasse of tomato. I didn’t know what it was either. We blanched the tomato to get the skin off and then we cut up the tomatoes removing the seeds. The tough part came when we had to do a medium dice on all of the vegetables. That doesn’t seem hard except, have you ever cut 1/2” x 1/2” x 1/2” cubes of potatoes or carrots? Not easy, there were a few bandages used, but they call the first day of Knife Skills “Cut Day” for a reason. We ended the day tasting various herbs so that we can identify them and understand their uses.
As we were learning all of this vegetable preparation, I found myself thinking about what I could make using these techniques. Imagine how beautiful hash browns would be with a medium dice, or an omelette using diced concasse of tomato, can you tell I’m excited. First exam is next week, wish me luck.