Tuesday, January 14, 2014

eight days of gratitude

by student blogger Leah

Day 1:

My final day before my education career at CIA comes to a close, and a new chapter of my life begins.

#1 Chef McCue
Does every young cook get access to a chef who is deeply invested in the classics of cuisine as Escoffier wrote about them? Will your palms sweat when his eyes close in on the plate that you are serving? Did you sacrifice time to make sure that your timeline was perfect and free from even the smallest error? When the corner of his mouth turns upward in approval, does your stomach flip from pride? Will you ever think about tourne potatoes in the same way again? Did you create obsessive amounts of flashcards so that you could be ready for his test? Was it his work ethic, perseverance, respect, creativity, knowledge, ambition, dedication, individuality, or love that secured his current rapport with people in the industry?

#2 Unexpected friends
The collection of people who make up the CIA family are inspiring, eclectic, passionate, and powerful. It is impossible to establish a consistent description of the people here. Classes change and people graduate, leave or return from extern every three weeks. Club memberships are difficult to maintain and student job openings are frequent. There is only one consistency: unexpected friends.

#3 The classics
The repertoire of dishes that are taught in the first culinary classes include a set of meals that contain classic techniques required to build a solid foundation for cooking. The techniques include precision knife cuts, different cooking methods (roast, braise, saute, poach, etc.), and unique ingredients that are best suited for particular techniques (chicken breast for saute, short ribs for braise, etc.). The first kitchen where students are contributing food to the meal plan here is called A La Carte Cookery where these meals are featured. Today, I ate pan fried veal cutlet, glazed beets, sauteed spaetzle, and sauce Charcutiere. As one of the first meals that I prepared at CIA, it feels appropriate to be one of the last meals that I'll eat as a student here. I love tradition, and cheers to the classics!

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