Birthday Dinner

It takes quite a bit to be an executive chef. The planning of menus, the sheer amount of math involved with food cost and making a profit, and the ability to lead while under extreme duress are just some of the necessary characteristics needed to be head of a kitchen. Since yesterday was my dad’s birthday, I knew of no better gift to give him other than to please his culinary taste buds with some good old fashioned cooking. This meant that I’d have to make everything perfect, since this being a gift, sloppyness would not be tolerated.

In my head, I thought of all his favorite dishes, should I make beef wellington or crusted salmon? Then I realized I’d need to actually think outside the box. So I took a stab at 4 brand new recipes that I had never tried before. If all four could come together as one, then the meal would be a success. I decided to do a green bean salad, complete with gruyere batonettes and diced prosciutto, a roasted pepper salad with toasted pine nuts and golden raisins, and some stuffed mushrooms with hot and sweet sausage. For the main course came my real pride, the guava glazed baby back ribs.

The side dishes seemed simple enough to prep early on, whereas the ribs would take 48 hours to truly prepare. On a very sleepless night I decided to begin the ribs by soaking them in a mixture of spices, acids, and some red wine vinegar. Stuff looked like soupy grass clippings but it sure tasted great. After a full 24 hours of marination, i removed the ribs to be cooked exceptionally slow and low on the grill. As they became a spectacular caramel brown color, I lathered a guava based glaze making sure to turn the ribs every few minutes. After a solid 2 hours of cooking, we ate like kings.

Executive chefs know all aspects of the game, and they can handle the stress of multitasking with ease. While I don’t consider myself of that caliber just yet, my ultimate goal would be to master everything just like they do. I know that so many culinary students dream of being famous chefs, being masters of their domains and being respected by public and peers alike. It just takes hard work and love for the art, and lots and lots of birthday dinners.

Next week we’ll finally begin the series on techniques, which I unfortunately couldn’t start this week because of my schedule. Til then!

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
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            • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
            • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
            • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
            • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
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            • Received the 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            L'Ecole Culinaire , Saint Louis
            • Offers educational opportunities for the aspiring, career-minded chef.
            • Students are trained by professional chefs and spend the majority of their final term working in the campus restaurant to learn all phases of the culinary industry.
            • St. Louis campus offers new Food Truck Entrepreneurship courses.
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            • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
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            • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
            • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
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            Virginia College , Jacksonville
            • Instructors are typically real-world professionals with many years of experience in their career fields.
            • Ranked #3 in Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2014 by Military Times.
            • Presents the full tuition cost up front. In most cases, even textbooks are included in the total price.
            • Provides career services associates to help students review their resume, provide career counseling, help with job searches, and more.
            • Has 27 campus locations across the southern United States, plus offers online degree programs.
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