Sunday, January 26, 2014

Reflections On A Scholarship Dinner

New look here at "Be Food".  I'm trying to take advantage of all Blogger has to offer.  Let me know what you think about my new design.

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I've mentioned the Culinary Arts scholarship dinner here, haven't I?

Once? Twice? Practically every day?

Have I?  Well!


As of last Friday, the dinner is done.  On my end (back of the house, that is), things went rather well.  However, I do have some things to ruminate on.

1.  "Liking to cook" is not really a good enough reason to enter the foodservice field.  I arrived to school yesterday at 11 am, and I did not leave until 9:30 pm.  Out of those 10.5 hours, I "cooked" for about two.  Of course, much of my prep was out of the way yesterday, but still.  I spent most of my time yesterday running around, doing this little thing, getting that little item, answering questions, making lists, talking to other chefs, etc.  Anyone who believes they will spent 100% of their kitchen time making food is hashtag delusional.

2. While I'm thinking of it, anyone who enters culinary arts and thinks they won't ever have to come face to face with customers or guests are bound for chain restaurant glory.  We are in the field of service...and serving food is just a part of that.

3.  You can never think about planning and plan about thinking enough.  Despite all our best-laid plans, our hearts skipped a beat on Friday when our instructor told us he'd added four more people to the guest list (last minute, mind). Good thing we had extras.  But, all of us could have stood to think a little more about logistics, plate presentation, etc.  There was a lot of scurrying about during food service and delivery.

In the end, we served 105 people at $85 a plate.  Eight courses, seven different wines, three different kinds of protein (chicken, pork, and beef)...I mean, this was no rinky-dinky homestyle affair.  And I'll admit, there were times I was terrified...but for most of it, I was exhilarated.  It's my calling.

And now that it's done, it's time to think about internships, developing skills, reading, and preparing for the next deep plunge.  I'll try to not to neglect you again, dear readers.

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