Monday, February 7, 2011

A Bountiful Education

       As I stood in line to gather some food from the "spread" prepared by the current "advanced" class, I realized the one thing not mentioned on this blog is the fact that as a culinary student you eat and sometimes you eat and eat and eat, depending on which classes are cooking or if your in a class that cooks constantly like "global".  In many ways it's a blessing, there are students who come straight to school after work and get to eat there, then there are students like me who didn't have time to eat at home or are broke and look forward to a meal at school.  More times than not, we bring loads of food home with us, which I in turn bring to work for lunch and share with coworkers and sometimes even save for dinner the next day affording me some more time with the kids.  I appreciate the fact that in bringing home the cuisines we cook, my kids are exposed to new foods and I get to teach them about the ingredients used by different countries for specific dishes.

      The first thing Chef told us this quarter was "In this class you eat first and you will eat well", I didn't believe him due to the fact that in every other class we had to take a small portion of food and share with other classes never really enjoying the fruits of our labor.  But he has kept his word, never have we seen so much food or been able to indulge in so much food, don't get me wrong we don't become gluttons all of a sudden, we take.....ok, most of us take small portions to try while in class, then pack some up to take home, then share with other classes.  But before "digging in" we must set the tables for presentation, allocate our dishes and listen to the Chefs' critiques (which are mostly good) once he is done we "mangiare" (eat in Italian, those Italian lessons are paying off huh?)   Oh! Plus this quarter the Chef is making his own pot of food, so you see it really is bountiful.

    The down side to this is we are eating at nine fifteen p.m. then we leave at ten p.m. and maybe a half hour later we are in bed, so when exactly are we burning off what we ate?  If your not careful you will gain weight, therefore, one must try and find a way to burn off the calories, especially during the evening class.  What I do is try a very small portion only of what entices me, then pack up the rest, and work off what I ate by taking on the task of scrubbing the lab floor (no not on my knees) with the scrubbing broom.  The other downside is at times it's a real "ghost town", no food at all and personally there are days when I am hungry and long for at least a piece of bread from the baking class, on those days there are long lines at the vending machines and students wandering the halls seeking out other students/chefs who are cooking something....anything, faces plastered against lab windows in hopes food will magically appear.....such is life in culinary school.  The best thing about all this is we understand each others need/passion for food, it's awesome, it bonds us, even if just for a while.

  Thank you for reading, have a lovely evening, I will post again very soon, take care!          
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