LJ-razz, 8.25.06: classes
American Regional was cancelled, so I won't be studying with Chef B this semester after all. I picked up Principles & Skills for Professional Cooking with Chef S, instead. Chef S is so laid back and takes time to patiently explain everything, which is a divergence from Chef B's methods--it was a little quicker, and in a lot of ways, we had to self-start. Chef B is teaching this same course at a different time; I wonder how he's approaching it. This class will be part lecture and part lab. I hope I don't space out during lectures. It sounds like Chef S will be doing a lot of cooking for us, doing demos, and I wonder how much cooking we'll actually get to do. We're working on knife skills on Monday, so that should be interesting. Chef S did a knife demo for us, and he's got some knife skills (as Napoleon Dynamite would say). Apparently, Chef S has done sugar work and will be doing a full class on sugar technique, which is really really really exciting.
Classical Desserts seems really hectic. Chef V already told us that if we haven't taken the regular baking section (which I haven't), then we'll be struggling to keep up for the remainder of the class. Chef V dismissed those who have taken the first course and the rest of us stayed to learn how to set up a mise-en-place and measure flour with a counterbalance scale. If this is "keeping up," I should be just fine. I think I'll see a lot fewer people in the second class, though. Chef V predicted that 25% of us would drop, and some of my classmates were already grumbling about the amount of work involved. Just wait til we actually start cooking and they find out that half our time in the kitchen will be spent washing dishes. Heh. Chef V also offered us contact info for a local patissier who's looking for pastry students to work under him in his pastry shop. He apparently works with the best caterer in the state at a high-end resort. I doubt he'd be willing to take someone in during the weekends, but maybe it's worth pursuing, especially if it's a paying gig. To be honest, I'd rather help Christy at her cake shop. It's a loyalty thing ... Anyway, Chef V will be teaching us how to work with chocolate, and our final is going to be a gingerbread house. That's awesome. I keep thinking about the pastry chef who rebuilt Fallingwater out of gingerbread for a pastry competition. I wonder if my model-building experience will come in handy. I bet well-made gingerbread isn't too far off from chipboard and foam core.
Since American Regional was cancelled, my Saturdays opened up, so I signed up for October's Certification in Food Service Safety and Sanitation. It's only three Saturdays, so it shouldn't be too much. I'm actually looking forward to it, since the volunteer food handler's card I had expired a couple of months ago.