The Beginning of the End
So, it has been a long, long time since I've even looked at this. Much has happened since I last posted. I suppose I should start where I left off and work my way back to today.
My job at the dining hall began with a rough transition. It wasn't the job itself that had caused me any sort of discomfort but rather my own mental and physical wiring. I seem to have a problem with anxiety which I have been able to get under control over the past few months. I cannot say why, but the transition into this new field seemed to fill me full of anxiety. Looking back at it now, I see there was really nothing for me to worry about, but its hard to tell yourself that when you have no idea of the cause. I can only guess that my own drive to do well as well as the importance I put on my own future prospects was the cause. There were times at work when I felt like I was outside of myself looking in. I felt like my entire body was on edge and each movement I made was like pushing through mud. My heart raced and my vision went red at times. My breathing was labored, and I could do nothing to make it stop.
Somehow, I made it through each day like that until something gave and the symptoms simply faded. While it does appear I have an anxiety problem, it seems I also recover from such things rather quickly. Being prepared and learning from experience have been the best tools to help me overcome most of my obstacles in life, including this. That coupled with a few visits to my counselor have allowed me to pretty much take control again. I now feel I am much more prepared for what is to come.
Now onto school which is what this is all really about. During the fall of last year, I took Mediterranean and Asian Cuisine. They were two separate courses both of which I did well at. The following winter at the beginning of this year was my A la carte kitchen class which basically put me in the restaurant at school. I got some good experience there in both front and back of house. My current quarter which just ended for me is my last. I had my business plan class where I had to put together my restaurant business plan, and I also had my contemporary cuisine class where I studied chefs such as Thomas Keller, Daniel Humm, Eric Ripert, Grant Achatz, Heston Blumenthal, an Joel Robuchon. All of these chefs currently work in the industry and own restaurants. Most of them have earned at least one Michelin star, and Heston Blumenthal's restaurant, The Fat Duck, has been voted best restaurant in the world three times. The course took us through fusion cuisine, molecular gastronomy, and modern European cuisine. All of the dishes involved new techniques, new combinations of ingredients, and a very clean and composed presentation style. At the end of the quarter, we hosted a final dinner where we invited people who work in the industry locally. They are prospective employers for us. We chose 5 of the most technically challenging, beautifully presented, and flavorful dishes to make for them. It went surprisingly smoothly for us.
Even though I have enjoyed my time at school, I am glad for it to be coming to an end. I'm ready to leave being a student behind so I can finally begin a career. I have job prospects that make me hopeful. I have enjoyed the journey, and even though it's going to cost me quite a bit financially, I think it was worth it.
Below are some of the dishes I have made:
Marinated Beef Lettuce Wrap
Smoked Couscous Salad with Melon and Cherry Tomato Confit
Red Cabbage Gazpacho with Pommery Grain Mustard Ice Cream