Hi everybody! It’s been awhile since I’ve written. I moved Into an apartment about 15 minutes from work, settled in, then the next day I started work! I haven’t even been there for a week and ive clocked in almost 55 hours. I’m a little tired and my body is sore, but I’m having the most incredible experience. The crew is all great, and Ive already discovered how different the restaurant world is from what we did in class. I’m hoping to get my camera in there this week because Ireally want to show you all the farm and open kitchen. I apologize for my recent absence. Still going through a little life shift. I will write again soon!
I just wanted to tell you how inspiring your Tumblr is! I love cooking and it's so inspiring to see all the things you make and how much you're learning. Even more so though is how sure you seem to be about how cooking is what you want to do. Getting up for 1am classes loving it. That's awesomeness! I'm in that beginning college, undecided major identity crisis stage right now and seeing how sure you are about food gives me hope for myself. Thanks and keep posting!
Ugh, the undecided identity crisis. I went through that all last year. I was a complete wreck. It took me awhile to find what I love because I was always jumping around several things I loved (photography, writing, painting, music). Finally, last year, I put all of that down and decided to focus on the thing I suspected I loved the most. I did something new every day, even if it was little. Soon I wanted to do more and more, and more often. Finally, I discovered that I could do this every day for the rest of my life. I love the diversity of cooking. You can cook something new every day and not do the same thing twice. There’s ALWAYS something new to learn, which means you will ALWAYS be challenged as well. I really hope that you find what you’re looking for. I’m sure it’s closer than you see!
P.s. Oooh! Here’s a list of who was at Zoo. The groups I initially went for are Pretty Lights, The Glitch Mob, and Bassnectar. Most of the others were great!! Some were sliiighty..terrible. Check out good tunes on my music blog!
i work at Pei Wei and am working my up the culinary arts ladder rather than using school, but i wanted to say that im so happy for you even though i of course dont know you ! i feel silly for saying that, but it must be said! now i will soon post a picture of my woks on my blog !
hope to hear from you soon!
much love and respect
My goodness, I thought I responded to this awhile ago! Hello fellow culinarian! Good for you, working your way up. That’s a great way to gain all the intuition you need in the kitchen. I am happy for you as well. Keep up the work!
Have you read "Making of a Chef" by Michael Ruhlman yet? I wonder if your experience at the CIA was like his. I'm at the Art Institute of Seattle for Culinary and reading the book was like having someone else's point of view of the same thing.
Yes I have read it! It’s one of my recommended culinary reads! Things have changed a little, but a lot of his experience is similar to mine.
What do you mean by scale? I <3 my Victorinox 6 inch, Jubilee Edition "Your Companion For Life" Chef Knife--it's even guaranteed to stay sharp for life and against defects! Sanitary handle, ergonomic, and nonslip! <33 What's your Chef Knife? Do you use Wellness Mats in your kitchen? What do you know about seasoning a wok?
I always bring a small electric scale with me because at culinary school, we do most of our cooking by weight, not by cups, etc. I use a Wustof chef’s/paring knife. I like them both a lot!
In Cuisine of Asia, we maintained our wok by using a bristle-brush and boiling water, then rubbed a light coating of oil on it until it’s next use.
You posted in your blog you were at another college before the CIA. How long were you there for? I've been an art student for 3 years but always dreamed of baking. My boyfriend goes to the CIA, he is on extern right now. He showed me the B&P halls and I was like in love. I've been baking most of my life, since it runs in the family. It's been so hard to find an outside opinion of starting over and doing something I am so passionate about and with the huge desire to learn it.
I went to MSU Mankato for one year before joining the CIA. You’re right—the baking program is incredible here. I originally wanted to do baking, but changed my mind. I’m extremely passionate about baking though, and still bake whenever I can! You don’t always have to go to school for cooking/baking though! You could always start at a great bakery, and work your way up. Your chef will most likely teach you all you need to know. If not, come to the CIA and I’m sure you’ll love it!
I'm in a postion similar to yours where I am going to a regular college (freshmen year) but my original dream was to follow in culinary. I am so confused.
I was very unhappy at college. If you’re willing to do the work, take a chance! Try culinary school out! If you’re very uncertain, maybe you could take a local class or take a couple of credits at a local school. It’s very hard work, but easy to fall in love with. I really hope you find what you’re looking for. If you have any more questions about culinary school, don’t hesitate! Thanks for reading!
This past month has been CRAZY for me! I feel like I’ve been going non-stop since my two week ‘vacation’ happened. As you know, I took both my breakfast and lunch classes in the quantities kitchen. So we were selling a lot more plates within the serving hour.
You also know that I’d been looking for a place to do my externship at. If you don’t know, basically for school I have to go on an 18-week (600 hours min) externship working in a real kitchen. Every week I’m supposed to do an assignment as part of a manual that I make and I get school credit for it. This 18-week period is actually the heaviest weight in credits in my culinary education. And yes, I am a procrastinator—big time.
I finally got myself to send out some resumes. I wanted to stay in the tri-state area, or possibly go west where the weather wasn’t so horrible in the winter. I went through a couple of interviews, both good and bad, and finally, FINALLY, last week…I found…gold.
In the little town of Peapack, New Jersey lies a fine dining restaurant called Ninety Acres. The restaurant is right in the middle of their farm, where most of the food on the menu comes from!
I did a stage (stahj) at the restaurant. What’s that you ask? Basically I walked in there with my whites on and my knife roll hanging on my shoulder and worked a full day at the restaurant—without knowing anything about it! I did, of course, study the menu and the philosophy of the business. The sous chef of the kitchen gave me a full tour of the entire property, then put me straight to work following a saute line cook. She had many tips for me, and we got a lot done. At one point we even had to go outside and pick fresh herbs for the night. How many restaurants do that?
The menu is beautifully constructed and focused around the farm. The chef, David Felton, told me that this restaurant is not farm to table. It is table to farm. The food made there is exactly what food should be—simple flavors brought together in excellence. They don’t try to make food be anything else than what it is, but enhance each flavor by those surrounding it.
At the end of the night, I was offered a job. Of course, how could I not accept? Out of the 15 places I applied to, I knew right away that I would learn the most about food at Ninety Acres. Everyone in the kitchen was welcoming, and looked happy to be there. The kitchen is almost completely open, the dining area is gorgeous, everything about it just felt right. I was instantly comfortable there.
If you have a second, why don’t you check out the website and menu?
I start my first day on September 14th. I really need to find a place to live by then!
I lost my camera cord (grr), so I can’t post any pictures of recent eats. Once I get a new one though, I’ll make a post exploding with food.
Of course, I have to remind you that today is Tumblr Tuesday, and if you could take a second more to recommend this blog to the food directory, I would greatly appreciate it! My inbox is full of questions. I’m trying to get to them, I am!! Once I move and get settled, I’ll be back. Promise!
I have terribly exciting news! I just started my Garde Manger class, and I can start taking pictures again!!!
Both my breakfast and lunch classes were great, the extra hours and time spent were worth it. I learned a lot about leadership and mass quantity production, and both of my chefs were awesomely awesome.
So, I am back, and hopefully with lot’s of great posts to make up for the last three weeks.
Also…guys? I STILL don’t have an extern site. In three weeks, I’m supposed to start an externship, but I am having terrible luck finding a place. If anyone can point me in a direction, help!!
By the way, how have you been? What have you been cooking?
What tools do you absolutely NEED in your knife roll? For that matter. what kind of knife roll do you recommend (even if it is the school issued one)? I wanted to go to Culinary School, but alas, I cannot--21 years-old with osteoporosis doesn't lend itself to working on a professional kitchen. But that won't stop me from cooking at home!
The only knife roll I’ve ever owned was the one I was issued, but I’ve been thinking of getting a different one because the one we get is kind of small for all the things we need.
What I use most are my chef’s knife, a paring knife, a wooden spoon, a rubber spatula, measuring spoons, a steel, and I always carry a scale with me.
One knife that I LOVE is my ceramic knife. I think every foodie should have one! They’re great for learning how to use a knife, practicing speed, and they make the cleanest, easiest knife cuts.
MY PIE IS TOO LEMONY!!! the meringue doesn't tone it down it toned down with vanilla ice cream though.. i tasted it before i put in into the pie crust, so now idk wut to do its too lemony!!'
by the way i did post a picture of my pie on my blog and a picture of a slice so you can head over and repost it if u'd like =D
If the pie is too lemony when it comes out next time, before you put the meringue on top, add a thin layer of powered sugar on top, then add the meringue. That could help.
I’ll definitely check out the picture. Gimmie a minute!
awwww thanks..(maybe after i finish my bachelors in december 2011, im looking at ICE, as of right now im just going to dabble into baking) in today i am going to go into uncharted territory i am making lemon meringue pie while watching the game Mexico vs. Spain! SPAIN all the way =D
I will look at your recipe for key lime pie =D
Sounds delicious. Make sure you taste the lemon batter before doing anything with it. You could save it early!
ok, so you're a culinary student (FREAKING FAWESSSOMEEE!) Any ways how did u decide u wanted to do it? (i told my mom i wanted to go to culinary school and she literally started to cry & go on about something, so im just doing my bachelors in business management -____-)
DO YOU KNOW HOW TO MAKE PIE?? (i want to make pie)
Well, I honestly feel like it picked me. Cooking has always been something I’ve enjoyed doing. My curiosity about all things food has always shown through much more than any other interest I’ve had. I did go to college for a year before the CIA to see if I liked anything else more. NOPE! Cooking is in my blood and lungs forever. Couldn’t ask for a better marriage :-p
P.s. Yes, I recently made a key lime pie. There’s a blog with the recipe and pictures. Check out the month of July. You will LOVE it.
Thanks! I've only been with tumblr for a few months (so I don't even know if this is the right way to respond to your message) but I'm lovin' it so far! Haha did you have any idea when you first started your blog that it would become as big as it is??
Same here! I started this blog in March, and it’s incredible how fast it’s grown. I never thought even 10 people would come across. I feel so lucky to have the support that I do on Tumblr. Blogging has become a little addiction. But no, I had no idea it would grow at all.
I’m definitely glad is has though! It keeps me writing. It keeps me sane after 10 hours of cooking every day. Whew!
What do you do if you have to work with a food that you don't necessarily like?
I despise raw tomatoes, but they are in SO many recipes! It makes it difficult when I test-taste. :/
My palate has actually opened up a lot since I came to culinary school. There are many things that I like now that I didn’t before. With that being said, there are still a couple of things I don’t necessarily enjoy eating, but you have to realize that that’s not the point. When taste testing, you aren’t necessarily making it to YOUR standards, but to the customers. You should be tasting for seasoning, texture, doneness, etc.
Perhaps it’s just something you’ll have to learn how to do. I had to and look, I’m still walkin’!
I used to have a personal tumblr, but after awhile I stopped using it. Then when I came to the CIA, I decided that I wanted to document my education. Both so I could remember everything later in life, and because so many others are interested in food/cooking.
Not enough people cook at home anymore. Though I am small, I try to help people see that it’s not a chore, but an opportunity to teach yourself a little something. Cooking brings people together.
Hi! I'm not a chef or a cook by any means, but your blog truly inspires me! You know what you want and you're going for it-and that's something I've always struggled with. Your posts not only give me motivation, but have also prompted me to start cooking more often, and with creativity!
Thanks so much! (:
You know, before I even started this blog, I feel like I was a totally different person. I was shy with cooking, I felt unworthy and inexperienced, I didn’t know if I had what it takes, and so on. And then I started this blog. It changed my life. It gave me confidence. It made me realize that I AM good enough to be here. I started to trust myself, for the first time ever. I realized that by being shy, I was limiting myself. I recently had an epiphany about life. And now yes, you’re right, I’m fighting for this. To live and feel and love people through food. By making others happy, I make myself happy in return. What more could I ask for?
It’s comments like this, out of the blue, that push me forward. So I’m glad that I have given you motivation (because you CAN cook, and you should!), but also, you just gave ME motivation. I JUST came back from the kitchen. I was there by 1 in the morning. And you just made me want to cook again. My readers have become one of the most important things in my life.
So thank you, Allison. Put on some tunes and cook on. Send a picture if you want! Keep in touch!
This is not even a question, just a comment. I looove your blog. Absolutely love it. I am in the process of putting together a cookbook proposal with my boyfriend (a book for couples where one person is vegetarian and the other is omni), and my entire summer has been dedicated to coming up with recipes, testing them, etc. Cooking and sometimes just being in the kitchen is exhausting, but your blog is something that gives me a lot of inspiration and motivation. So, thanks for being fabulous. Keep writing! :)
And I don’t even like the word ‘epic’. THANK YOU so much for the support. I feel honored knowing that people like it. Sounds like a great cookbook. I was actually a lacto-ovo vegetarian for 3 years! If you need any help or ideas, feel free to e-mail me. Cooking can be exhausting, frustrating too. But don’t give up. Many couples will have great use for your book. I know several couples that have both a carnivore and a vegetarian.
Great luck and success with your book!! Send a copy my way and I’d be happy to post about it! : )
And again, thanks for not only following, but for your comment. That made my day.