Boston or Bust

I leave for Boston in one week to begin my culinary externship with America’s Test Kitchen. It will be a bittersweet summer — a chance of a lifetime that comes with the high price of leaving my husband and daughter for three months.

I’m not sure what my plans will be when I return. I’ve come a long way in terms of my food writing, securing recurring writing assignments with Food Network, BlogHer, and The Orlando Sentinel, in addition to Chef2Chef. I also had the opportunity to write recipes for Martha Stewart Radio and Cooking with Emeril this year, and have contributed to two cookbooks, Dinner for Busy Moms, and The Flexitarian Cookbook.

Despite my writing success, I still feel I’ve got loads of catching up to do in the Chef-ing part of my career. Switching careers from a high paying marketing/film job with Disney, at the age of 38, wasn’t easy. But I think if I had started this culinary adventure in my twenties, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it or appreciated it as much as I do right now.

I learned early on that restaurant life is not for me, after shadowing at Norman’s in Orlando one evening. I have so much respect for the entire process that goes into running a successful restaurant like Norman’s; it was an amazing experience to be on the line with his chefs, even for that one night. They were very kind and patient with me — I was accurate with my knife cuts, but slower than molasses!

America’s Test Kitchen will involve everything I love: recipe development and testing, food writing and editing, marketing, food styling and photography, and television production, without the pressure of 300 covers in a 2-hour time span.

So maybe that’s my answer? When I get back, I just have to concentrate on finding a position with a similar test kitchen. Alton Brown, are you hiring?

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            3 Program(s) Found
            Platt College Oklahoma , Oklahoma City
            • Each campus features a public restaurant where culinary students work under the direction of professional chefs for real-world experience.
            • Hosts Platt College’s Food Fight, a friendly dessert competition for students held once a month.
            • Offers programs in culinary arts, nursing, and healthcare.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (AFC) and Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • 5 campuses in Lawton, North and Central Oklahoma City, Moore, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
            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
            • 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
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            4 Program(s) Found
            • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months or bachelor’s degree in the food service management field in 2.5 years through their year-round schedule.
            • Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
            • Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
            • Hosts regular career fairs for employer recruitment.
            • Has student housing available.
            • Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
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            1 Program(s) Found

            Baker College is the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. Our mission is to prepare you for meaningful employment.

            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.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            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.
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