Today was the first day of school! I prepared for the day by donning my school uniform: non-slip shoes, chef pants, chef coat, and chef hat. I must say, it looks pretty good, although it will take a bit of getting used to. Wearing a chef outfit is certainly a unique way to go through the day.
Class began with detailed introductions by our chef instructors. The team is highly experienced with a very diverse background and very excited to have us as students. Together, they have passions for local food, macrobiotics, food policy, plant pathology, clinical nutrition, and social networks. The instructors seem to truly be passionate about food, which is good because as Chef Rosa Vera said, we are about to be “totally immersed in food.”
It was a pretty long morning hearing the introductions, but vital to get to know each instructor’s background.
Below: My chef shoes, looking mighty fine..
Below: Me, looking sharp in my chef whites and check pants, in the lecture kitchen.
Below: Students can bring their own lunches from home and use the school equipment to heat them up, however, it creates dirty dishes which I must then clean. Hmm.
Below: We started the day by drawing fortunes written by our fellow classmates. I drew this very appropriate fortune for myself – one of my professional goals is to help bring wellness into people’s lives through information about food.
The afternoon was taken up with the start of our safe food handling training. Cooking and storing food safely is of utmost importance and as such, we will spend two half days on the training. Safe food handling is both common sense and arcane – there are many facts to remember, none more important than the importance of hand washing. Correct temperatures are vital, too. We will be taking the ServSafe food handler certification test, which apparently has a very high success rate.
Each week, we are expected to write a cooking journal to reflect on what we’ve learned. Also, we were assigned to listen to two podcasts to help us to think about what we might write. The topics of the two podcasts were designed to get us thinking about the direction of food culture in America, which I found very exciting.
Random note – some students from the last class developed this magazine resource for incoming students.