Faces and Places

I’m starting to get a hang of this whole big city thing! Widespread city, thousands of people, insane traffic… just kidding, I’m not even close to having it figured out. Before I traveled here, I had never once used my car horn. That has changed drastically the past few days.

Of course, there are advantages to the roadways here. Like the fact I get to see these signs on my way around!

Photo Credit: http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=disney+world+highways&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=JDJSn9QQAuqhVM&tbnid=HNBk20QHWrxnsM:&ved=0CAQQjB0&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.floridavillanow.com%2F&ei=5NHdUcbRLKrl4AOp54C4Aw&bvm=bv.48705608,d.dmg&psig=AFQjCNE4v2kEZYHCt5NkRTEHeUJBvRcE0w&ust=1373578078438360   Photo found on Google   Photo found on Google

Anyway, getting back on topic, today was day three of the culinary school experience!

I’ve gotten to know my classmates a little better. What a fascinating group! Each one of them is such a unique character. In every culinary book I’ve read (and I consume chef biographies like no one’s business) I’ve found the most interesting part to be the characters. The brutal chefs that upend student’s dreams. The commiserating classmates that become lifelong friends.

Now that I’m getting to know my classmates, I’m beginning to understand their stories as well as piece together their roles in mine. They’re my favorite part of this journey so far.

There’s a bond among a kitchen staff, I think. You spend more time with your chef in the kitchen than you do with your own family. – Gordon Ramsay

I spent my half-hour break today with three guys from my first class. Because I can tell already these people are going to be as much a part of my education as knife skills are, it would be sacrilege to exclude them from this blog.

One of them is Jacob, a nineteen year old Californian. His hair sticks up like a hedgehog, especially after taking off his hat for the day, and if the instructor asks a question—any question—Jacob answers immediately. He likes to get involved in everyone’s conversations, even when it’s evident he’s not sure what the topic is. With a slightly manic energy about him, he’ll probably do quite well in the pressure of a kitchen.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Ben, a Duff Goldman look-alike with two black studs in each ear, a well maintained goatee and sharp, friendly eyes. He rides a Harley Davidson to class and keeps his chef whites in the bag on his back. He’s relaxed, moving at his own pace, but emits an attitude of self-assurance, determination and a good sense of humor.

“How old do you think I am?” he asked Jacob during our conversation at break. Shrugging rather nervously, Jacob answered, “Oh, I don’t know. Twenty five?” Ben just leaned back in his chair and raised his eyebrows. “I like you,” he said, grinning. “But I’m actually thirty two.”

The other student at our table was a chatty chef at Disney’s Polynesian Resort named Levi, who has military experience and is full of both good advice and over-the-top confidence. He’s twenty two and married with “two kids, two dogs, a mortgage and the whole works.” Despite the occasional tall tale, he’s friendly and helpful and incredibly talkative.

The fact these students have all come from different states, countries, families, and walks of life and managed to end up in the same classroom as me is no coincidence. I have so much to learn from all of them, and maybe by the end of this program I, too, like the chefs in the many memoirs I’ve read, will have made lifelong culinary friends!

Cooking allows you to have travels, adventures and journeys without going anywhere. -Ted Allen

Of course, since this is a blog equally dedicated to Disney as well as cooking, I should probably mention that I’m working on the Disney portion of things. Despite the fact Walt Disney World is the country’s largest single-site employer with over 62,000 ‘cast members,’ finding a job is still quite a task. I’m getting closer by the day!
Really, though, just look at this too-cute bottle of wine. Even Disney wine bottles are ridiculously magical! Can this company get any better?

Even Disney wine is magical!

Wish me luck and I’ll keep you posted!


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