If there is one thing cooking schools do well is feed the students! Unlike other college campus that claim the “freshman 15′ (15 pounds of weight gain), this place is more like freshman 35! Imagine being in school at 6am and starting the day with “Elvis Pancakes”. Two large fluffy pancakes with peanut butter, banana and bacon. Just what the King needed to get his engine roaring. I’m sure he slept in and this was more like lunch for him. Chef D ( John DeShetler) is our instructor for the week and he is knowledgeable and entertaining. Already, I’ve learned so many techniques and tricks to make cooking just that much more fun. There are 16 of us in the class, most of which are 40 years plus. Serious foodies with extra cash to spend on a passion. They come from all walks of life, regions from within the US and Mexico. Some looking for their next chapters, others to learn from the experts. Like any school of learning, we have eager beavers, those with questions and the silent ones. I’m somewhere in the middle. We have been assigned to a team for the finale competition on Friday. Think of Top Chef but in teams. My team, #2, has been assigned the Mediterranean market basket (list of ingredients to use for the cook off) inclusive of lamb, lentils, eggplant, Nicoise olives to mention a few of the ingredients.
We spent most of the morning on knife skills. How to slice, dice, oblique, julienne and cut “batonnets” (1/4 x 1/4 size sticks). Sounds easy but when the master chefs comes around and grades your technique, not so funny anymore. My strategy was to eat the ones that didn’t cut it (ha ha) so I wouldn’t get graded “random” in my technique. This worked well for the carrots and celery but when I realized I had another 10 items to cut, and a huge lunch to eat, I had to abandon that strategy if my plan is to fit into my close come Friday. A delicious lunch, followed by food preparation and a visit to the gym! It’s been a great day, with interesting people and a week of adventure ahead! I promise more pictures tomorrow, once I master my Flip cam and Ipod. all of this technology is overwhelming but not impossible.