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Old 02-14-2008, 05:29 AM   #1
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I'm 7 weeks into culinary school!

( and im not dead yet )

hi everyone,

ive been so busy since starting school that i havent had time to breathe but here i am again ...

im so very fortunate to be in a school with decades of experience surrounding me , im working with some of the best pastry chefs in the world so if anyone has a question for them or the other Chefs who specialize in all global cooking, and general cuisine..
this is the best time ive ever had and at 42, thats saying something :)

take care and send me questions for my Chefs if you have any and ill be more than happy to get you the answer :)



lead me not into temptation for you are slow and will only get in the way
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Old 02-14-2008, 06:17 AM   #2
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Which school are you attending?


"Culture is what your butcher would have if he were a surgeon."
Mary Pettibone Poole
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Old 02-14-2008, 06:32 AM   #3
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Nice to hear from you Miss Tracy...Soak everything up like a sponge!!

Have Fun!!!
There is only one Quality worse than Hardness of Heart, and that is Softness of Head.

Kool-Aid...Think Before You Drink
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:44 PM   #4
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Hi Tracy,
Very, very well done and congratulations. Now don`t take this the wrong way - but- going to cooking school when one is over 30 takes immense courage and I am in awe of that.

Remember that this board is a two way process - many may ask you questions from which you will learn as you THINK about the question and discover the answers either through research or practise. Equally, whilst you are at - now - you see I don`t like the term cookery school, I prefer to think of you as a "chef in training", remember to ask us questions.

Training can be a competitive business and having a sounding board for ideas which you may have to present/complete in the kitchen can be a good thing. The only problem is that everyone else on your course may be doing the same thing. Still, when I lectured in food, one of the first things I did was to get each student 16-20 in a class to make the same dish to exactly the same recipe. Yes, you`ve guessed it - at the end of the session there were 16- 20 dishes made to the same recipe but each tasted different. My favourite dish for this exercise was to make each student cook mince/ground beef. Now, I suppose a modern equivalent would be to give 16 students the same recipe for making a Ragout Bolognese or a Tarte Tatin.

The thing that I could guarantee is that I got 16/20 different dishes. There would be those who couldn`t control the heat, didn`t know what to do and wouldn`t ask so the dish had burnt brown flecks in it - make sure you are not one of those! There would be a couple or three who would not taste as they cooked so showed a reluctance to appreciate how important it is to taste a dish as it cooks/develops and this resulted in the insipid (ugh) (dishwater) or inedible because it was too highly seasoned, e.g., salt with mince/ground beef - taste is a balance of flavours. Every now and then, there would be a student who had a natural flair, tasted, checked and moved on or asked a question becuase s/he wanted to learn. At the end of the day there would be 4-5 dishes that were edible - I made sure no-one knew whose was which. No student should be ridiculed at this, or indeed at any stage of their learning.

Tracy, I do wish you well and I`m also deeply envious. I would love to go back to school. At the same time, I believe there are three principles to learning how to be a chef and these must be repeated every day as your mantra:
Practise - do it;
Record - keep notes;
Reflect - think about what worked, what did not work, how it might be improved;
Practise - do it - check out the improvements;
Record - keep notes;
Reflect - think about what worked etc.,

Tracy, good luck, I do think you are brave and keep in touch,

Take Care,
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:59 PM   #5
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I wish I could do it all over again. I apprenticed for 10 years to learn my craft. and I loved most of every minute. Good luck. Study hard. do not be afraid to ask questions
no matter how simple they may be. Watch observe, soak up as much as you can
Cook with passion or don't cook at all
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Old 02-14-2008, 10:04 PM   #6
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Old 02-14-2008, 10:25 PM   #7
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I'm jealous about the culinary school and have admiration about the pastry part - no jealousy there though!!!!

"Count yourself...you ain't so many" - quote from Buck's Daddy
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Old 02-15-2008, 04:01 AM   #8
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You have a lot of courage in doing so and I wish you the best of luck. I have been considering the option of entering into hospitality just going about it a different way. Currently, I am a graduate student working on my MBA in business with a Bachelor of Science in IT. I've considered changing careers and entering into the hospitality field because I need a change and it is less stress. I still have some classes left before I make a final decision on what direction I'm going to go. I have been doing different cooking or baking things to see if it is something I want in my spare time or I want to go full swing with it. Best of luck to you!
It's the simple things in life we experience that add spice and sweetness to those every day dull moments.
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Old 02-19-2008, 09:12 AM   #9
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thanks to everyone for even showing an interest and I have to tell you .... my brain hurts !!!
I'm in an incredibly position to just take my time and soak it all up. I'm enrolled in the florida culinary institute and I highly recommend it. I'm having the most fun I've ever had. The wealth of knowledge and experience around me is just staggering and I want every bit of it, every little scrap they throw me I'm tucking away. I've just done mid terms and I got an A on the written and an A on the practical so I'm very excited.. If any of you have the chance to do this, just do it, you'll be so glad you did :)
lead me not into temptation for you are slow and will only get in the way
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Old 02-19-2008, 10:23 AM   #10
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congrats! I loved culinary school and go back every summer for a course and more ceu (continuing education units) toward prochef certification.

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