Monday, June 18, 2012

Family Meal & Wine Class

By the time we come out of this program, I think our brains will either be nice and full or nice and mushy. We're absorbing a lot of information and, at times, it gets taxing in a not so good way. While I completely love all of our classes, so far we've really only been cooking two days a week. Granted, those days are super intense, but I'm someone who craves that adrenaline rush and push in the kitchen. I really feed off of it so, when we're actually balls to the wall cooking, it's awesome for me. Most of the other things we're doing involve long lectures, which have to be translated from Italian to English, and it ends up being really hard to pay attention for that length of time. I think we all agree that we'd much rather lessen the lectures and be hands on. 

Part of our curriculum, in addition to normal kitchen days, is to be in central kitchen cooking family meal for all of the students and faculty. It's about 300 people overall so it's an exercise in producing large quantities of food from scratch in a time crunch. I actually enjoy that a lot and think it's great practice for us to simulate a restaurant scenario. I was on the salad station for our first day and we were doing panzanella, one of my very favorite things. We chopped and chopped vegetables forever it seemed but we made a delicious salad:
A chef from Tuscany (where panzanella originates) was at the school for the day and he came by to taste it. He told us we really nailed it and I thought that was a super nice compliment!

After central kitchen, we had our first wine class which I found really great. I liked the teacher a lot and felt like I learned a good bit even in just one class. We went into the school's wine cellar to pick a bottle out and got to do a tasting on the first day too which we all know makes me happy:
On these days, we get out at 5:00pm and we welcome it. That's the earliest we'll ever get out of class so it's appreciated greatly after all the other long days we have! After just that small tasting, my eyelids got heavy quick so it was nice to have an earlier evening to myself. 

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