A Bit of Perspective
Monday started week seven at The Natural Epicurean. Week seven falls about one third of the way through the 22-week classroom portion of the program. It’s amazing that time has passed so quickly. In 15 weeks, I will be starting an externship and my new life as a food professional. Yikes!
I have been thinking about what my life will look like when I finish. How will I earn money? Will I enjoy my work? Will I make enough money? How can I have control over my work? How should I start networking? What kind of services should I provide as a cook?
I am only starting to figure out some answers to these questions, but I need to think more about it. I am planning to develop a personal business plan and even a branding plan complete with website and logo, but there is a lot of meat left to put on the bones of my post-school life. It’s very exciting!
Below: My week got off to a dubious start…my name was on the list of forgotten homework assignments. Ooops!
We spent Monday morning reviewing some of our cooking implements and ingredients. You have to know the terminology so that when your chef calls for the right tool, you grab the right thing. And if you’re the chef, which of course will happen :), you have to tell your crew the right name for the thing you need.
Below: A casserole dish, food mill, and Dutch oven (or French oven if you are Le Creuset).
Leggo My Egg-O!
Chef Marko came in to give us the lowdown on eggs. Of course, he gave us more than we bargained for since he is a showman in addition to being a chef. Chef Marko is pretty clear on what makes a good, healthy, local egg – and what to do with eggs that aren’t so good to have around. We spent class practicing poaching, frying, and flipping eggs.
Several people in our class are strict vegans and preferred not to work with eggs. Others are vegans who would handle eggs, but not eat them. I am happy to eat eggs, but prefer sustainably-sourced eggs from humanely treated hens. Chef Marko was happy to accommodate the non-egg eaters by coaching them through a tofu-based recipe for eggs. It just goes to show that while the school does strongly encourage fully engaging with milk and eggs, it’s not 100% required.
Below: Chef Marko talks a bit about types of milk. This was one session where we needed to learn about non-vegan ingredients – such as milk and eggs – to round out our culinary knowledge.
Below: Chef Marko instructs us in the mysterious ways of the egg.
Below: Some of our attempts at egg poaching below.
Below: Chef Marko executes a delicate egg trick at the end of class with three industrially produced eggs.
Below: Chef Marko shows us some flower garnishes he pulled from his garden.
- Potatoes with Chef Marko Ellinger (dietiscorrect.wordpress.com)
- Day Three of Culinary School (dietiscorrect.wordpress.com)