Blue Skies and a Kick Butt Risotto

I am over the moon, happy, elated, excited. My second level classes are amazing. My only regret in enrolling in culinary school is that I had to endure a boring first semester. While we were cooking during every class, we were never allowed to make stocks or break down chickens or fish or even try our hand at the 100-Escoffier ways to cook an egg. First level was definitely all about basics, and boy, I’m glad that's over.

Second-level classes can only be compared to the part in the Wizard of Oz when everything turns from black and white to super-duper technicolor. I have learned more about cooking science and techniques in the last two classes, than I did all last semester. I love it.

That being said, we still have a few know-it-alls in the class who make it their business to walk around the lab and give their unsolicited opinions on the creaminess of your bechamel, the color of your veloute and the size of your parmesan crisps. I’ve learned to grin, say, “Thanks, that’s a great tip!” It drives me crazy, nevertheless, but I’ve realized if I agree with them, they’ll pass by quickly and move on to the next victim, allowing me to get back to cooking much quicker than if I challenged them.

And then there is the dishroom issue. Cripe, no matter which culinary program you attend, please don’t soak your nasty, burnt, crusty pans in the sink that's been just-filled with squeaky-clean soapy water. Have some common sense and soak your pan off to the side. And rinse your pans before you wash them, please. Food in the dish water renders the dish water useless, and makes me cranky.

My groups are awesome this semester – we get along great, and complement each other well. And, everyone has been great in dealing with my food allergies, which can be a pain sometimes. I’m hoping it will be a skill they can take with them on the job when they have guests with food allergies dining in their restaurant.

We’ll be making chicken, it seems, for the rest of our lives this semester. But, I’m happy for the repetition – practice makes perfect. Between classes I’ve been practicing my knife skills with potatoes and carrots. I’ve just about mastered every cut, except the tourne – that one is killing me. If you have any tricks, please let me know! And now that I have the cuts almost perfected, I need to work on my speed – I’m accurate, but so slow.

The highlight this week was a kick-butt saffron risotto I made. Chef showed us a different technique that involved cooking the rice first and then drawing out the starches. I was skeptical, but it worked perfectly and didn’t require me to stand there holding its hand for 30+ minutes. The only downside is that I can’t get the smell of saffron out of my hair and skin, even after a hot shower.

Next week: more chicken!

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            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.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 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.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            4 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
            Show more [+]
            3 Program(s) Found
            • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
            • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
            • 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.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Offers career-focused programs in allied health, business, and computer technology, and more.
            • On-the-job training available through externships, internships, and clinical placements.
            • Graduates in good standing can take refresher sessions in courses at no additional cost.
            • Day and evening class options are available for flexible scheduling.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            1 Program(s) Found

            Lackawanna College is the premier, private, accredited two-year college serving the people of northeastern Pennsylvania. With a focus on keeping higher education affordable and accessible to our immediate community, Lackawanna draws 80 percent of its student population right from our own region.

            With a main campus situated in downtown Scranton, Lackawanna’s expanding footprint also includes satellite centers in Hawley, Hazleton, New Milford, and Towanda.

            2 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
            Show more [+]