For our first quarter all students were required to write a paper on a fruit of their choice, In learning this I decided I wanted a fruit that was new to me, one I thought could bring out my creativity and inspire me to create a wonderful recipe (that was also a requirement for the paper, to create or find a recipe with the fruit of your choice). I chose "fig", although I had tried fig before in the form of a "Fig Newton" , I had never really tried it in it's natural form and boy was I inspired, I ran out and bought some dried fig (as that was the only form I could find it in at the time) and toiled with it until it yielded me what I needed a method and recipe. I created a fig mousse and a fig brittle, the whole process of creating something of your own is so mind-blowing, especially when you didn't think you had it in you.
A week after handing in my report, the Chef returned it to me, he gave me an A and said he loved it. Chef suggested I write for the school newsletter and that's when I confessed to him I had dreams of traveling after graduating, but wasn't quite sure how I would pull that off. He told me I should be a food writer, but I'd have to get roots here (a publisher), then I could travel and write wherever I was and that my friends was the answer to the question which lingered in my mind, how could I combine my love for writing and food? By writing about food, it's genius! I wrote a few articles for the school newsletter and was elated about the whole thing, people would approach me and discuss the articles and it felt so good. This is when I knew, knew without a doubt I was a writer.
The rest of the first quarter continued to be a challenge for me, but I learned even more about myself as far as cooking goes, this lesson came when Chef had made me group leader again, we had to prepare eggplant parmesan and after the eggplant was breaded a couple of my peers went to fry them. I decided to go check the progress of the frying eggplant and discovered my peers examining them and comenting, I literally felt appauled at what I saw, the eggplant was burnt, the color was uneven and I thought "if this has my name on it, no way I am going to present it to the Chef like that". I told my peers they needed to make another batch, they retorted saying the eggplant was fine, I went to retrieve a clean pan and some oil and commenced making a new batch, they followed, but were upset. After the new batch was cooked under my supervision, they were a beautiful golden color, I was genuinely pleased and so were they.
Like I said you have to be confident and stand up for yourself or as in this case you end up with burnt eggplant... There are rules in culinary school, unspoken rules, you only learn them as you go, no one tells you, the Chefs don't, administration doesn't, no one, you have to figure it out on your own, it's like a puzzle as the quarter's go by you piece together more and more. Tomorrow I move onto accounts from second quarter "Baking". Take Care.