Cooking School Confidential: My Inner Hermionie and Thor the Chef


All my life I have been the shy and quiet student. I’ve never had that “you raised your hand too much” moment , but I had it last week. It all started when my new professor/Chef generally asked if anyone had made a soufflé?


Sigh. I stopped raising my hand after 3 questions and just pretended I hadn’t cooked, or eaten, or was excited about X, Y, and Z. Because guess what? I am excited and I love to cook and I love to eat and it’s obvious.

This is Professional Cooking 101, so we are starting  as basic as you can get: stock, chopping, sauces, scrambled eggs, etc, so I should know a thing or two about a thing or two…right?

Wrong– Do I know why I dice my veg when chopping? No. Do I even dice my veg? No. Do I heat up my saute pan before putting the oil in? No. And that is just the tip of the giant KitchenAid Mixer.

Our Chef is focused on thinking well to create well (he also loves hip-hop and England) so he’s coming from a good, “food is love” place, which is important to me since it’s the foundation of who I am as a home cook.

This week we watched these fantastic videos from the MAD (A community of chefs, cooks and farmers with an appetite for knowledge) that I had never heard of before. They are all on-line and free . With so many interesting food people and topics I’ve never really thought about  (like foraging) on the symposium list, I know I’ll have a lot to watch on my lunch breaks for a while. So check it out.

The one by Mangus Nelson, a Swedish Chef, who grows all his own food at in an arctic climate was fascinating if you garden (and he reminded me of “Thor” the Chef if there was a Thor the Chef). Wiley Dufresne (Top Chef guest judge) talked about the how and why  cooking and it made me want to eat at his restaurant in New York.

I’ve only been to two cooking classes so far and I am so excited to be in a room with sincere, liked-minded food people, that I can’t go to sleep when I get home.

I know once the actual cooking starts next week, I’ll be so exhausted that going to sleep won’t be a problem, but until then it’s a little like Christmas.


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