Hello friends, and welcome to another addition of J Lethal’s Food Frenzy. I’m J Lethal and I’ll be guiding you through this post. Like I always do. Or something like that.
I can honestly say that the past 6 weeks have been amazing. Yesterday marked the end of the first 6-week block at school, and I can say without a doubt that I am excited for my future. There’s so much opportunity in the culinary field, and I plan on fully exploiting that when I grow up 🙂
The last week in school however, was nuts. It was only Monday through Thursday, but it was the most hectic four days in my life, save for the time around my wedding. I had a report on soups due on Monday, a reaction paper to a non-cookbook culinary book due on Tuesday, a mayonnaise exam and product ID exam on Tuesday, knife skills on Wednesday, and the final 100-question written exam on Thursday. This will be an amazing three days off.
Surprisingly, I handled all that stuff pretty well. Got a near perfect on both reports and the mayo. I think I missed 2 points on the mayo because the chef wanted it piped into a fanciful design, and I just did little stars. I did mildly well on the knife skills, and got a very high B on the final written, giving me a very high B in the class overall. Much to my dismay, I was about 2 points on my average from an A, but I can’t complain about a B. It’s a good way to start.
For the first portion of the 6 weeks, I had Safety and Sanitation, but that’s only a 4-week course. I passed my certification, and the class, with flying colors. For the last two weeks, the class becomes College Success and Career Portfolio. I call it “Resumé Class,” because that’s basically what we worked on. For two weeks. It was a little excessive, but it allowed me to put together a very well-worded resume and I passed it with flying colors, of course.
Something really, really great happened while I was leaving my Foundations 1 class yesterday and I would like to share that here since a lot of my personal friends and family read this. Just a quick background remind on my Foundations 1 chef, he’s a Certified Master Chef, one of 70 in the country, very highly regarded and is very good at what he does. He also is the coach for the school’s Culinary Competition Team (We don’t have football, but this is the kind of team I can root for), which has won the State Championship, and are practicing almost daily for the Regional competition in Atlanta later this year. Anyway, when we were leaving the classroom, Chef was at the door shaking everyone’s hand and telling them “Good luck” in the future classes. When my turn came up, I shook his hand and thanked him very sincerely for what he had taught me, and he looked at me right in the eyes and said “You did an excellent job. Come see me when you’re thinking of joining the Culinary Team.” Hello! That made my day right there! Now, whether or not I want to join the culinary team is something I haven’t really thought of. As of right now, my schedule barely permits me to do recreational things for myself, let alone join a competition team that practices almost every single afternoon. Who knows what lies ahead, right?
And I’d like to close this posting with a teaser. I got my syllabus for Foundations 2, and in it, it outlines every single thing that I will be doing on a daily basis for the next 6 weeks. And since I’ll actually be producing these things, I will be able to taste them, and take pictures of them, and blog about them. And like any good marketer, I will give you a tease right now. Things I’ll be making in the coming weeks: stocks and sauces. Soups, including New England Clam Chowder, Shrimp Bisque, Consommé and French Onion. There’s a vegetable day where’s I’ll be making leeks with a vinaigrette, green bean saute and risotto. There’s a day dedicated to potatoes, including a luscious gratin, potato pancakes and more! A couple of salad days are thrown in there as well. Handmade pasta? Yep, including fettuccine alfredo, tortellini and ravioli. There’s an egg day, braising day where we’ll be making lamb stew, frying day making fish and chips and beignets. Grilled pork chops and sauteed veal. Roasted chicken. Duck leg and thigh. I think that should be enough to whet your appetite. So please keep your eyes peeled for new posts, as they will either be really cool, or display my failure for the world to see. I’m hoping for the former 🙂Stay positive, love your life, and come see me when you’re thinking about joining the culinary team 🙂