Sunday, October 11, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
In the past few months when I’ve revealed my intentions to go to culinary school to people, I usually get the same response: “I had no idea you were interested in cooking,” followed by a question: “What do you want to do when you’re done?”
To answer the first- let’s just say my love for food has evolved from an early age. It started at the age of two when all I asked for from Santa was “nanny” – candy. Then, when I was a little older, I would often help my mom cook our family suppers. And by "cooking," I mean pouring the packet of powdered cheese into the box of Kraft macaroni and cheese.
It wasn’t until my junior year of college when I went to Florence, Italy to pursue my love of art history that I discovered a whole new art form…Italian cooking. From my very first authentic Italian meal, I immediately fell in love with the Italian philosophy on food and dining. It was a place where fast food could not be found on every corner and the phrase “to-go” was nonexistent; a place where food was considered as far more than a few ingredients to fill our bellies, but as a way to bring people together in order to strengthen new relationships and solidify old ones.
After my senior year of college, I was again unexpectantly thrown into the culinary world when I worked as a waitress at a Wyoming ranch and resort. Not only did I love the energy and excitement of the kitchen, but I was constantly in awe of the head chef's creativity as he produced masterpieces out of foods that I had never even heard of.
Which leads me to now- an unexpected twist in this post-college life as I try to figure out what in the heck to do with my career. This leads me to the second question. To be honest, I'm completely clueless as to what I want to do with my experience after culinary school. I may want to go into the catering industry, may one day open my own restaurant, or may just use the experience to prepare delicious food for my friends and family (my mom has already signed me up to cook Christmas dinner this year). The one thing I am sure of, however, is that I know I would one day regret it if I never tried.
While abroad, I took some cooking classes in the home of a retired Italian chef and his wife. Chef Pepe ended each class by saying “mangia bene, stare bene” – Italian for eat well and be well, which is exactly how I plan to spend the next months. Please join me on my adventure through culinary school and Boston, which is sure to be full of surprises, challenges and hopefully a little fun along the way! I’ll admit that I am pretty intimidated by the world I’m about to enter (and my first winter above the Mason Dixon line), but with a brand new set of knives in hand I go to mangia bene, stare bene.