Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 1 - Kitchen 1402

The first day!  It would have to be the day we "spring forward" for daylight savings time. I arrived early though and checked in, got my books and locker. I changed into my uniform and went to class. The maximum class size is 16 students but we only have 9 in our class. Five men and four women. Being in a smaller class is going to be great, I think.

The first two hours was an orientation. We received our (seriously sharp) knife kit. Then we were introduced to Chef Ted. He studied at the Culinary Institute of America and has been a chef for over 30 years at locations all over the country. He has been teaching at The Institute of Culinary Education for the past 10 years. He will be our Chef Instructor for the first two terms, which ends on June 25th.

No cooking yet:(   Today's lessons were about sanitation and food and kitchen safety. We talked about biological, chemical and physical hazards relating to the food service industry. Food borne illnesses, parasites and how to avoid them. We discussed the safe handling of food and the health laws that govern how restaurants store, handle and prepare food. Evidently the New York Restaurant Health Code is the most stringent in the country. That's good to know!

All in all it was not very exciting stuff but it's information that we need to know. Next week we'll have our first exam so I'm glad I took lots of notes. I have tons of reading homework.

Next week's lessons:

  • Knife safety and skills. We'll make salsas with all of the vegetables that we chop.
  • Nutrition, vegetable and herb identification.
  • Cheese identification and the attributes of a variety of cheeses. I'm not a fan of cheese but I've decided that I will have an open mind about eating things that I normally won't even look at. (sweetbreads and calamari - yuck)
  • We will practice our knife skills again on vegetables.
  • Next - Boiling, blanching, shocking and pureeing vegetables.
  • We will make a vegetable puree soup.
  • We will begin culinary math.
  • Vinegar, oils and cooking wines will be discussed.
  • We will wash lettuces and make a simple vinaigrette
  • We will cook several different types of greens.

It sounds ambitious! I can't wait:),
The Garlic Rose

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