Highs and Lows of Culinary

This week has been a week of extremes, with highs so high, I never thought I’d come down; and lows so low, I’m begging the food industry for mercy.

The high:
I had my interview at the 5-diamond restaurant and was invited to shadow the next evening. During the ride home, after the interview, I was nauseous, ready to vomit on the passenger seat of my car, wondering what I had gotten myself into — I doubted I was ready for a 5-diamond. The next morning, I felt like my old self again; confident and ready to take on the challenge. My biggest fear, which was disappointing my chef instructors whom had recommended me, was put to rest by accepting a worst case scenario and working through it in my head: the worst thing that could have happened would have been that I couldn’t perform duties as assigned at the restaurant and I wouldn’t be hired. BUT, as long as I tried my best, I knew my Chefs would be forgiving.

The night of my interview the kitchen was a screaming mad-house — organized, but incredibly busy. The day I shadowed presented a calm, orderly place that was easy to get to know. I started the night off folding towels. When I finished and asked for more, they were surprised how quickly I folded [I'm a mom who does laundry twice a week, which apparently came in handy]. Next was removing silver skin from braised meats and shredding, then slicing turnips. When they asked me to blanch and skin 4 tomatoes, I caught on. I was being tested.

I chopped an entire crate of tomatoes within minutes and then delicately blanched and peeled the 4 additional tomatoes. Next up was brunois carrots. My brunois are good, probably better than average, but not 5-diamond great; they seemed to be OK with them though. I then helped with hot and cold first courses and then met with the executive Chef for a recap.

Long story short, I didn’t think I’d like working in a restaurant, but I LOVED it! I had such a great evening and hope to join the team on a part time or on-call basis.

I felt really proud. Not only did I NOT ruin anyone’s $200 dinner that night, all of the hard work my chef instructors have put into my education paid off — I used every single skill they taught me that night. And I think I honored them well.

In other news, my blog was named Blog of the Month by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, The Flexitarian Cookbook will be available in December, and features several of my recipes, and I signed on to be a recipe developer and contributor to ChefMom.com — look for recipes and articles later this month!

The low:
I had to work a few sponor products into a recipe book I was creating for a grocery store today at work. I felt nauseas again, but this time, because of the ingredients. Forgive me, world, for putting this recipe into our Universe: 1 can of chili, 8 oz. cream cheese, 1 jar cocktail sauce. Mix ‘n eat, people; mix ‘n eat.

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            3 Program(s) Found
            • 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.
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            • 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
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            • 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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            • Flexible Scheduling
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            • 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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