The Inside Dish: Culinary School Lessons 61-107

One hundred seventy-one days ago I learned how to hold a chef’s knife for the first time. It felt heavy and awkward and eerily dangerous. I remember dicing vegetables during the first few weeks of school and thinking, “Holy canoli, I’m going to lose an appendage here.” Not a finger. An appendage.

I’m three lessons away from getting my toque and I’m injury-free, save a few burns and minor cuts. My battle wounds.

If you’d asked me six months ago what I thought culinary school would be like, I probably would have responded with the following: “Some knife skills and bread-baking and a 30-pound weight gain.” Simple, shallow and oh-so incredibly wrong.

With such little anticipation of what to expect, I can only look back on this experience and remember it for what it was – the happiest and most fulfilling six months of my life. It was hard and it was exhausting and it pushed me to my creative limits. Going to culinary school has allowed me to take my passion and my hobby and turn it into a career. Food has been and always will be a constant in my life, whether I’m writing about it, photographing it, making it or just eating it. It will always be a part of me and what I love.

I’m looking forward to sharing the tips and tricks I’ve learned on Just a Taste as I take these first steps into the professional world of food. I’m armed and ready, and in the words of the Chairman … Allez cuisine!

For an in-depth look at my life as a culinary student, visit DICED: The Official Blog of the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), which chronicles my experience in ICE’s Culinary Arts Career program.

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