It’s about 9 pm on Friday night. I just made myself a margarita and have to honestly say that this is the first time I have sat down since about 9 am this morning. School is amazing. I have completed the week at school and am so grateful that this first week is over. I don’t even know where to begin. I have worked very hard and yet have had so much fun while completely immersed in this learning process. There are a total of 16 students in my class, although it looks as though it may be only 15 on Monday. We have an MIA student. One day and that was that, never saw him again. Couldn’t take the heat? It’s a mystery as of today.
Moving on, we worked repeatedly on knife skills, cuts (French cuts of vegetables, dimensions and precision), the chicken and how to correctly de-bone one, prepare and utilize the bird as well as the potato puree. These are all basic skills that I must say humbled me to the core. I will not go into the details but for those who know me and the mission I strive to respect (which is all about the healthy aspects of food), I have to say, this palate has ingested more butter and cream in the last week than my memory can recall. I am so happy to be here, so grateful and so blessed to have been lead to this new path in my life.
The long hours studying and reading are hard. Getting up at the crack of dawn is something I am used to but the learning aspect and the work that needs to go hand in hand with the knowledge blows me away in such a wonderful way. I am so pleased with the decisions that lead me to where I am at this very moment. It will surely get harder in the next couple of weeks and I am positive that melt downs will compete with the highs I am experiencing at this time, but I am certain that my heart has lead me in the best direction possible.
I already have a written exam on Monday morning and a demo that needs to be aced by Wednesday so the weekend will be spent studying along with practicing cutting techniques on carrots. Looks like carrot soup will be on the menu for Sunday night dinner. I went out and got some sweet potato and fresh ginger to add to the pot. Rule number one is that nothing is wasted in the kitchen.
Let’s move on the weather in Boulder, Colorado. They say that since I’ve come to town, it seems that I have brought the rain with me. It has been raining for the last couple of days. And its not just a little rain, it is record-breaking rainfall mixed in with chilly weather. After classes today I went with a couple of classmates from school to pound the pavement for part-time jobs. All four of us landed a stage, (a term for working within an establishment for no wages) to get some restaurant experience. This is done with the possibility of gaining future employment as well as behind the scene skills. The following restaurants are somehow affiliated but for anyone interested, the links to the two different establishments are below. The menus are innovative and inspiring.
Have I mentioned that apparently I have an accent? On several occasions I have been called Jersey. I have had to explain to my instructor as well as to the class that I do not know Pauly D or any of the New Jersey housewives. Thank goodness. I have promised a shipment of some good Jersey tomatoes this summer so anyone wanted to contribute to that agreement, please let me know.
I feel safe and I am happy here. I get to drive to school in the morning and look at the most beautiful backdrop of mountains. I am in a learning environment that is all about the beauty of food and its origin, fresh ingredients and butter. Ha ha. What more could you ask for? I do promise to get back to everyone who has reached out to wish me well as soon as possible. Time is something I have been lacking a great deal of lately. Thank you all for the amazing birthday wishes several days ago. A special “thank you” to Lisa Hough who took me out into Denver on Thursday evening to a black-tie affair that celebrated the supporters of downtown Denver. I got to celebrate my birthday with Lisa, her husband Campbell, Lisa’s assistant Julie and several other good friends of hers. It was a fun evening I paid dearly for this morning when my alarm went off at 4:45 a.m.
Next week we move on to team captains, more management skills in the kitchen, tests, demonstrations and soups and stocks. As far as I know, I am also the first casualty of a not using caution when removing items from the oven. My forearm looks like I am promoting Nike.
Just remembered to mention another interesting fact about school. Our classroom is adjacent to the pastry class that concurrently runs with our chef training. At the end of the day, the pastry students bring us in a plate of whatever it was they prepared. The truffles, cakes and amazing confections have been nothing but bliss. Today one of the chefs in training came over and let me sample a dessert sauce he had prepared using Jägermeister. It was a dark chocolate reduction using the liquor as well as dried cherries and raspberries I believe. It was so yummy to taste. We discussed the different possibilities of this dessert topping. While I was downtown, my classmates and I checked out a chocolate shop. I found a package of dark chocolate linguine that I purchased to give to the pastry chefs on Monday. Surely they will come up with something fun using the sauce. I am also hoping to get a big taste and picture that I can share next week.