Culinary School Pt. 1: Sensory Awareness, Competition Team & the Basics

I am almost through with my third week of culinary school. It has been flying by! The first week was just serve safe. The second week we learned all about the history of French cuisine and the classic kitchen brigade systems. We also got to test our ability to identify flavors; this was really fun! Chef set up a bunch of stations with a ton of random things and we had to taste them and judge the flavors in them. I actually liked the shrimp paste and fish sauce quite a bit, my classmates thought I was looney…

I was also recommended to join the Escoffier Competition Team for our school, which was a HUGE honor! I was a bit nervous starting out, since the others are all either week 20 or week 12 (of a 30 week program), but we practiced the skills set for the state competition this week and I think I held my own. =) The state competition involves a skills salon- filleting a fish, fabricating a whole chicken, knife skills, and pastry skills- as well as a 4-course menu that we develop ourselves. The state competition is in November, but only 5 of us get to actually compete so wish me luck!

Fabricating a Whole Chicken (My first try!)

This week I was also the “team chef” for my class. Each week a new student gets to be the team chef, which is like being a sous chef. We had to write production lists and make sure our team got everything done on time and correctly. It was a lot of fun. We made stocks, mayo, sauces, grains, rice, legumes, chicken, potatoes and much more this week. We made out own mayo and aioli, then used them to make potato salad, below is my team’s end product.

I am definitely looking forward to what is coming next, since the beginning has kind of been stuff I already know. I will keep you all posted on my exciting experience in culinary school! If you have any culinary questions please ask and I can help you out!

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6 Responses to Culinary School Pt. 1: Sensory Awareness, Competition Team & the Basics

  1. Kimby says:

    This is was first-hand view of a place I’ve always wondered about… culinary school. I don’t have any aspirations to put myself in those grueling confines (yet…), but it’s wonderful to hear what it’s really like from someone “who knows.” Congratulations on being appointed to the Competition Team (they know a contender when they see one!) and also for becoming a Team Leader. I’m sure your classmates are thriving under your experience and encouragment. Woohoo!

  2. Kimby says:

    Arrgghh… sorry I mis-typed “encouragement.” (This, from a writer, ha!) But, it also gave me the opportunity to say, “You look terrific in your uniform!” Question: what DO you call your training duds? And how long before/when do you earn your Chef’s toque?

  3. Thanks! I just call them chef clothes haha These days chefs don’t usually wear toques, that was kind of a thing from the olden days, but our chef instructors all wear toques, so if I ever become a chef instructor I would get one. =)

  4. I love the color of your jacket! And look at that chicken cut to pieces by Chef Jenny! :) Culinary School…that is awesome!

  5. Pam Rauber says:

    Thrilled to be keeping up with your schooling. Part 1 was captivating. Looking for more.

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