Monday was my very last, first level cooking class. I made it through with flying colors, 4.0 grade point average, and a chef who thinks I’m pretty darn neato in the kitchen. What more could a girl ask for? Well, I could ask for a lot more cooking opportunties in school.

I realized, after our final review Monday, that I’m book smart, but cooking dumb.

After reflecting on the last year, I haven’t done a whole lot of cooking in class — and not by choice. We watched a lot of video, and a lot of demos from Chef. I’m a walking encyclopedia of culinary trivia and general cooking knowledge. I study(ied) constantly. Want to know how to make a textbook roux, fried egg, braised veal shank? I’m your girl. Go ahead, ask me!I can perfectly describe those techniques for the home cook, for the professional chef, and anyone in between. (which is probably why I’m a decent food writer)

If you asked me to actually cook those things for you, well, that’s another story. I could probably get through it with the written instructions I have committed to memory, but can’t say I would be cooking with authority from mastering the techniques.

Next semester, I vow not to let this happen. Even if I have to come to class early or stay late, Chef is going to give me the opportuntiy to skin a fish, make cheese, and cook as many eggs as needed for me to master the method. I will no longer accept only watching a demo. I will demand that I’m given the opportunity to also try; for the entire class to try.

I’m looking forward to my 2nd level classes and balancing out the book smart with some cooking smart.