Parmigiano, Partners and Proposals

It was a perfect first back-to-school day. Chef selected me to spend 30-minutes with my culinary school-girl crush, Parmigiano-Reggiano. It’s true; we’re in love, and I had him all to myself. He spoke softly to me between nibbles, while I chiseled buttery wedges from the brand new wheel for the entire class to use in our Risotto Milanese. I hope we meet again tomorrow — I hear he’ll be in the walk-in, waiting for me with his football jacket.

I’m paired up (thank goodness), with someone who (1) knows how to cook and (2) knows how to cook. Really, that’s all I ask. I’m always surprised, especially at the senior level, how many cooks still struggle with the basics. I know eventually they’ll get it — everyone tries their best and works really hard. But, if you’re paired with someone who isn’t matched to your own skill level, or close to it, it can definitely slow you down.

Today we fell into a comfortable chaos. Although we were in familiar surroundings, we were all a little loopy trying to get back into the swing of things, setting up our stations, getting used to our new partners, dealing with time management, cooking and keeping our stations clean. While I had lots of practice with my knife cuts this summer, my julienned carrots were a borderline disgrace today. My excuse? I was too busy making out with the Parmigiano-Reggiano to give my carrots the attention they deserved.

From this point forward though, I’m going to set up my station before class begins, instead of after the lecture. This way, I can take my time securing my cutting board, grabbing salt, pepper, oil, butter, and anything else I may need for the day. It will also give me a chance to grab equipment that might otherwise already be taken, like today: we ran out of medium sauce pans.

I talked with Chef for a bit after class, asking him if it would be possible to work with the University of Central Florida to design a direct-study Masters program for me. I’d really like to move forward and get my masters with a focus on food history and food communication, but I can’t travel to Boston, New York or Italy to do it (which is where all of the masters programs are currently being offered). Chef suggested I concentrate on journalism and do my thesis on something related to food history and communication. I’m thinking about it…

We also talked about the possibility of me teaching at the school. I was nervous to suggest it; I wasn’t sure how he’d react. He was encouraging though, and seemed excited I was interested. We talked about creating a food media course that would combine web, film, television, photography and food writing — perfect for me to teach! First though, I have to finish school.

I told Chef I’d be by in three semesters with my proposal.

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            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).
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            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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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.
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            • Flexible Scheduling
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            • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
            • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
            • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
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            Salter College , West Boylston
            • Offers training programs in preparation for professional careers in business, health care, and computers.
            • Provides associate and certificate programs in medical assisting, massage therapy, culinary arts, and more.
            • Places students in externships to gain real world experience before completing their respective program.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
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            • 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.
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            5 Program(s) Found

            Sullivan University is a private institution of higher learning dedicated to providing educational enrichment opportunities for the intellectual, social and professional development of its students. The institution offers career-focused curricula with increasing rigor from the certificate through diploma, associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree levels. Throughout those curricula, the university seeks to promote the development of critical thinking, effective verbal and written communication, computer literacy, and teamwork as well as an appreciation for life-long learning, cultural diversity and the expression of professionalism in all activities. At the graduate level, the university also seeks to promote a culture of research.

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            L'Ecole Culinaire , Kansas City
            • Offers educational opportunities for the aspiring, career-minded chef.
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