Sunday, September 10, 2006

The First Week

Although it was just 4 days long, the Stocks, Soups, Sauces block will be half over on Monday. I forgot my knife kit on the first day, which wouldn't have been a big deal, except that my apron and two sidetowels (crucial parts of the uniform) were in it. I was directed to the storeroom where I plead my case. I can look fairly pitiful if I feel that way, so I got spares for the day.

I don't want to be too critical, but I think the chef we have is kind of arrogant, and not just talking about his skills as a chef. Not admitting when you are wrong really irritates me, especially when it involves blaming the rest of the class.

I've never had any direct experience with the military, but "culinary boot camp" pretty much sums up how we relate to our superiors. Every sentence or phrase ends in "Chef" and we say, "Thank you Chef" when we are corrected. Everything has to be ironed and pristine. You go through a lineup at the beginning of each course block (more if the chef deems it necessary).
We are being taught proper dining room procedure...for example, do you know that the proper way to eat a piece of bread is to tear it into smaller pieces and butter them as you go?

Everyone, including myself, buys into the system. We are there to learn how to cook, not to be babied or treated gently.
In a moment of weakness, I forgot where I was (I can think of no other justification) and licked butternut squash soup off a serving spoon. I was going to enjoy it and then take it to the "dish pit". Unfortunately, Chef saw me and said "I don't ever want to see you do that again!" Basically, it is a bad habit that I need to ensure never happens again.

Getting up at 5:15 am is something that will take longer to get used to than I had thought. My body doesn't do well with getting up when it is still dark, regardless of what culinary delights and learning it will receive that day...
Speaking of delights, we got truffles in exchange for some veggie soup, compliments of a chocolate class and their vegetarian chef. It is a treat to have a gourmet lunch (of varying quality) and fresh bread every day.


Anonymous said...

hang in there champ!! (that was just in case you need a cliche to keep going.) i have not gone thru bootcamp yet but i am sure i will in a year. yes doc. no doc. i can sympathesize with the spoon licking incident. that is something i would be tempted to do myself. i can understand why the chef would be a little upset about it. i am a little jealous of your different and possible delicious lunch everyday. i am stuck with my own cooking.

love you like "superior" officers love hearing a title when you (minion) address them, 1/2JEm

fosmae said...

I would definitely get caught licking the spoon, the plate, the bowl... :) Hope getting up early is getting easier. I'm sleeping in now that I'm not training for the tri! It's a good thing I don't eat gourmet lunches everyday; my waistline wouldn't like it very much, but of course my tastebuds would! Miss ya bunches! M