Here are the members of my class with one of our instructors, Chef Jean-Jacques. I can't believe this day has come so quickly. The four months has flown by, yet I feel like the first day of class was so long ago. I'm both excited about my new future and sad to see this life-changing experience end.
When I was first accepted into the program, I foolishly thought, "finally! I get to learn everything there is to know about cooking!" (Any chef-instructor reading this is probably laughing his or her head off now...) I've learned a lot, but there is so much more to explore. I'm pretty certain cooking is one of those things you could spend a lifetime learning about.
Here are a few things I know for sure, though:
* the chef is always right.
* three different ways to chop garlic. All of them are "the" right way - depending on who the chef is.
* the best knife you can have is a sharp one.
* you can do a lot with 10 bucks. And a pantry.
* organization (mise en place) saves SO much time. Martha's really on to something!
* with the right know-how, foods that seem ordinary and boring can really be spectacular.
* you can never have enough kitchen towels around.
* it's just as fun cooking with friends as it is eating with friends. (Maybe more fun.)
* who you share a meal with is just as important as cooking the meal.
Our five primary instructors were great. Each of them not only taught us different subjects, but contributed something different to the types of culinary professionals we will become. They have taught us organization and planning, creativity, respect for ingredients and the importance of technique, determination, resourcefulness, and consideration for the people you cook with and the people you cook for. I don't know if they realize how important they are to us -- they've not simply given us skills to cook, but skills to change our lives. It's a really special thing to help someone create a better life.
It's also amazing to me that I met ten other people (including Dish!) whom I might not have otherwise ever crossed paths with -- and we have become so tight in the last 14 weeks that we are sad to leave each other. We're already looking forward to reunions. It's also interesting to see the different paths everyone is taking, and I'm excited for each of them.
As for me, I will be in Boston for a few more semesters as I finish up my masters degree in gastronomy, and eventually go back into journalism. (Preferably someplace that's much warmer than New England.) I'm not sure whether I'll continue this weblog... I'll decide over the Christmas break. Either way, the archives of the entire semester will still be around.
By the way, I've burned my fingers in Boston at least four times.