Since culinary school started early July, I’ve already spent seven weeks at home here in Orlando, Florida. I packed up, relocated, and am now chillin’ under palm trees in my spare time.
The rest of my graduating class has just caught up to me, leaving for college, moving into dorms and leaving childhood behind. It’s funny to hear them all talk about leaving for college and the Great Beyond. I feel as though they’re living a completely foreign lifestyle, one that I could have had. Instead of a cramped dorm, I’m living in an adorable yellow apartment. Rather than working at a restaurant in small town Wyoming, I’m a Cast Member at Walt Disney World. I’ve traded ice scrapers for squeegees, flip flops for snow boots and tank tops for sweaters. Pine trees are now palm trees, I’m an hour from the beach rather than the mountains.
Weird. And awesome.
Speaking of awesome, today was a very intense kitchen lab day. This was only day two of legitimately cooking, and already everyone’s caught the hang of the burners and the feel of the pots and pans. And these pots and pans don’t have nice heat resistant handles. These handles are all metal and must be grabbed with a towel-covered hand; failure to do so results in angry red blisters.
This was our basic itinerary for the day: Tomato sauce, beurre blanc, hollandaise, two poached eggs, one over easy egg, one over medium egg and a French omelet.
Compared to a real restaurant kitchen, this is nothing. But considering this was our first trial run really making real food? That was a lot to handle. Everyone was running around, the energy was borderline manic. There was a lot of kitchen camaraderie, and plenty of teasing as pan-flipped eggs landed face-down on burners or scattered across the floor. I don’t even know how many eggs my class of 27 went through. Probably enough to feed a small country.
And the poor chef instructor was faced with the task of trying each and every eggs benedict that day. Forkful after forkful of poorly poached eggs and weak hollandaise. And he teaches all day, not just a few courses. I respect him; I certainly couldn’t do it.
Anyway, today was an egg-cellent success. Once everything was cleaned up and taken care of, there was a general buzz about the kitchen as everyone caught the addictive feeling of kitchen success. It’s one thing to cook at home, another to be critiqued on every hard skill.
I suppose I have also traded typical college experiences for less traditional options–I spend my time hanging out with a variety of chefs-to-be from ages 18 to 65, even outside the classroom. I’ve only met three other students my age, the rest are scattered across the board.
I suppose college was never going to be ‘typical’ for me. I tend to do very well on my own–I prefer my own company over most people’s. Naturally independent I suppose. My wild Friday nights consist of (surprise!) blogging from the local Starbucks and finishing season 6 of Bones.
Not everyone’s idea of a ton of fun, but I’m not everyone.
Well, have a fantastic weekend! I’ll stop boring you with the stories of my vibrant college life and kick back for a few more episodes of Bones and another iced coffee. Sayonara!