Hello all, my name is Peter and this is the first time I am contributing to this blog. While this is my first time writing for the CIA my journey there began back in August of 2011. Now I am writing to you for the next few months about the Latin Cuisines concentration at the San Antonio campus of The Culinary Institute of America. When I was accepted to this program, one that will teach me advanced principles and techniques of the Latin Americas, I chose to drive down to Texas rather than fly. This ultimately presented a challenge, what route do I take, and how do I make it work in only 5 short days in between the semesters. When I started off, I left the Hyde Park campus and shot south for Washington D.C. My first night on the road I wanted to meet up with my friend Davy Bourne. I met Davy during move-in day back in 2011, when I was still a freshmen, excited and scared for the college ahead of me. I was in every class with Davy throughout the AOS program and he became one of my close friends. When I chose to continue with the BPS program Davy instead went out into the workforce and is now leaving his mark on the D.C. culinary scene. He works at a restaurant called Komi, which serves a tasting menu nightly to guests, taking them through a wonderful journey of exotic flavors and combinations. While it was fantastic to catch up with Davy that night, I had to journey onward the next morning...
Myrtle Beach was the destination. I was blasting down the interstate making good time when I decided to stop for lunch. As I left the place I noticed a large amount of liquid leaking from the bottom of my car. Now when I inspected it, it appeared to have a watery consistency but what alarmed me was it had a greenish tinge. I couldn't afford to have any car problems as I had a very tight schedule to maintain. I hopped back in the car, and continued down the highway in search of an auto shop that could help me. I arrived in Dunn, NC. There was a small shop operating out of an old firestone tire center. While they hoisted up my car I got to meet the owner and his 7 year old son who was more than excited to show me his dog, Coco, and tell me about all the silly things Coco likes to get up to when he is at home. Being from Washington state I haven't had too much experience with southern hospitality and I have to say, I love it. A little while later they assured me that the leaking liquid wasn't an issue and that I had the green light to continue on with my trip!
I left Myrtle Beach, a community riddled with chain restaurants and tourist traps. If you love that city, I don't mean to offend, it just is not my style. I was on my way to Savannah, GA. This city was undoubtedly the highlight of my trip. I was going that far south to visit my cousin Alexandra, who is just about to graduate from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). She took me around the city and gave me the full fledged tour, showing me all the historic buildings and gardens. She even managed to have a fun fact or piece of trivia about nearly everything we saw. Savannah was beautiful, I ate a spectacular oyster Po'boy sandwich and had a blast visiting with my cousin.
I'm writing to you right now on May the 3rd. I haven't reached my destination yet but am currently in Winnie, TX, which is only 4 hours away from San Antonio and the semester to come. Today I drove to New Orleans and then after a few hours, trekked onward to Texas. New Orleans was definitely a sight to see. I was in awe as I traveled into the city, passing over a bridge across the bay that must have reached on for 20 miles. When I got into the city, I parked my car and walked straight to Bourbon street. I was expecting a drunken mess and that is exactly what I found. Bourbon street is nestled right in the center of the beautiful French quarter of the city, and is lined with bars, gift shops, and strip clubs. I stopped in a small jazz club, ate a bowl of jambalaya, grabbed a beer to go, and left for the quieter parts of the French quarter. Now while my career choice is in the culinary field, I also have a strong appreciation for architecture. I was in awe walking down the streets and seeing house after house styled beautifully and seeing how they have aged so well, with paint cracking apart and amazing stone and iron work to accent them. (Below you will see a picture of my favorite door from my walk)
After only spending a few hours in that interesting city, I had to continue on. Five more hours of driving and I am at the point where I am writing to you now. For any of you reading that are committed to doing this program in San Antonio, or anyone who is entertaining the idea, I highly recommend driving. While exhausting, this trip has showed me so much of what the south has to offer. It has truly been eye opening.
Thank you all for reading and please keep your eyes peeled for updates on this semester away!