Tuesday, May 26, 2009

there are lot of dirtbags around this school

Today we started Skills Development I, where we learn all knife cuts, mother sauces, stocks--basically the fundamentals of cooking that we will carry with us throughout our careers as chefs. We have Chef Viverito, who claims to hate teaching this course (probably because it's so elementary.. we 70 mins scheduled to cut mirepoix, 3 shallots, 3 garlic, and some parsley stems... it took about 15min). Chef Viverito is the type of chef I hope to be someday. He mentioned how he travels constantly for cooking (just got back from Thailand) and how he used to be a private chef on yachts and a personal chef. I have at one point or another wanted to literally be all three of those. I hope to learn a lot from him in the kitchen and as a mentor regarding my career in the future. His theory is that being a chef is about knowing the ratios, the functions, instead of just recipes. It's been hard to express this to people in my life. They always come to me asking for recipes and get frustrated when I give them the method instead. 

Chef Viverito is a clean freak, to say the least. His term for messy people, "dirtbags" is a phrase we hear often in class. Did you know that 70% of pico de gallo in the US has traces of fecal matter in it? It's because people don't wash their hands. dirtbags!

The pictures of today aren't that exciting, especially given that I'm still sick (ugh), but here are a few.

Here are my pretty knives and tools all ready to go:
This is the basic layout of the kitchen:

We made some stock today:

I didn't have much of an appetite so I went down to the storeroom to poke around and see any new products. I looked at the list of items they had (over 37 pages long!), so I'll probably order some items not normally found in the Hudson Valley area.

Here are a few of the asian products:

I'll write more tomorrow, hopefully I'll be back at 100% by then...

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