God it was weird last night, leaving the Le Cordon Bleu campus for the last time. Since Valentine's Day, I have been up there five nights a week. I've met many amazing chefs, picked their brains, made some laugh, pissed some off, learned from them all. Some got the fully stoked, inspired me, and some got the burnt out, fuck this place me. I've been so lucky to learn from them -- I took a ton of notes throughout the program, so now I can go back and practice and refine the recipes, keep my techniques up.
Fino starts on Monday, and I can't wait. My family gets a change for the better in our weekly schedule, and I get to play with the restaurant's immersion circulator. My work schedule will also relax some, because I won't have to leave at three every day. Everyone at work has been understanding, but I've felt pretty guilty about bailing so early every day. Not to mention bringing my laptop home and working on projects over the weekend to make up the hours.
The chefs gave us an apple cider toast at the start of class last night, and gave it up with the motivational speeches. Chef Randy's parting wish is that we stay in touch and help each other. It's all been so awesome. And I have to mention chef's cookies -- Chef Jay made us chocolate chip bacon cookies that were insane.
I think when Nietzsche wrote about eternal reocurrence, he had the daily life of culinary school in mind. I can't believe it's already Thursday. The days are very similar to one another! Going back to school makes the week feel like one giant run-on sentence.
The good thing is I am closer to the weekend, where I get to devote some time to the wife and kids. There's a plate of warm gingerbread pancakes in our future, I think.
Last night we had a lively class discussion about restaurants where waitstaff are salaried, rather that minimally paid and tipped. Everyone had an opinion, it was a good talk. Only in culinary school can you get a group of people arguing about front of house salaries at 10:40 at night.
Tonight's food was gorgeous. We were way too slow, it being a rainy Tuesday evening -- but the food that did come out of the kitchen was great to look at. An amuse bouche composed of Asian slaw topped with a curl of tea-smoked duck. The slaw had a quick flavor profile, spicy and citrusy, followed by a rich, hearty taste of soft duck meat. I've eaten five of them so far, wouldn't mind finding one or two more before we leave.
Friday the restaurant is closed for a private party. We're serving a party of 95 senators, elected officials, and other important folk. Apparently there will be a band too. Senators and bands, what else is there?