Monday, August 15, 2011

Somethings You Might Not Know About Me

The year I graduated from high school I packed up my brand new Ford Contour and moved to Colorado to attend Culinary School.

I lived with one of my older sisters and was her nanny, while going to school.

My Grandma Amy was the one who inspired me at a young age to want to cook and entertain. By watching my mother cook for such a large family, I learned the basics. I took every Home Ec class I could in high school, one year I was in two or three. I was cooking dinner for my family at the age of 12.

So when my mom and sister encouraged me to go to Culinary School it seemed natural and obvious. (the other career I was leaning toward was Journalism)

I attended the Colorado Institute of Arts Culinary School in Denver. My 1st semester was all preparation for the BIG stuff. I took a Dietary Course, Safety & Sanitation, and basic skills in the kitchen. Basic skills sounds easy, yeah right...everything BUT!!! I had to be in a kitchen six days a week for seven hours a day. The rules were STRICT. If you missed 3 or more classes a semester you had to start the course over again.

Almost all of the lingo was French and there was so much about "cooking" that I had no idea. Classmates of mine had worked as line and soux chef's in 3,4,and 5 star restaurants, and were finishing up with their accrediation. It was very intimidating in the begginning.

My favorite class was my 2nd semester, Baking and Pastry. Do you have any idea what it takes to make a croissant? Butter is laminated into the dough several times and it has to rest each time, it's an amazing process. There isn't one' that I bite into that I don't stop and think about the intensity that is put into it. In high school my favorite class was Cake Decorating, so it's not surprise that I was over the moon during this chapter. There were days that I personally made 8 cakes and loaves and loaves of bread. After bringing them home to my family ( I also had extended family in the area) I quickly realized that I had to find somewhere to share my sweet treats. I started driving them to the homeless shelter.

There were several other phenomenal classes. Garde Mange, it's all that foo foo stuff you see with food garnishings and fancy schmancy carvings of fruits and veggies. Wines & Spirits is a world of it's own. International Foods was another favorite.

Hotel and Restaurant Management has been a desire of mine. I love catering and more than anything cooking for my family and teaching my girls what they need to know to successfully navigate around a kitchen and properly entertain.

There are more classes that I need and want to take. This industry is an amazing one and continues to thrive. With the explosion of the Food Network and shows featuring hard core Chefs like Gordon Ramsey it gives us every day folks a look into their world. There are literally 1,000's of blogs about people like you and me who love to cook and want to share their recipes with the world. What an exciting age to live in.

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