I've been out of school for a year and a half now, and still come across something every once in a while that I really can't believe I don't know how to make or do. The really surprising part: They are COMMON things. Don't get me wrong...Culinary school was amazing. I'd love to be a "professional student" and go to Culinary school for the rest of my life. BUT- I participated in the "Fast Track Program" which condensed the traditional two years of schooling into an action-packed, intense, 5-hours-a-day-of-nothing-but-cooking program that only lasted 9 months. Therefore, they had to choose the best of the best, the most useful, most well-known recipes to teach us and had to weed out the "fluff." For all of my readers who haven't gone to Culinary school, you should enjoy this.
1. I know how to make homemade Chocolate Eclairs from scratch.......but I have no clue how to make Sugar Cookies.
2. I could make homemade Ice Creams and Sorbets all day with my hands tied behind my back.....but I would have to scour the internet for a Chocolate Cake recipe.
3. I can make a loaf of Brioche or a Challah Braid with my eyes closed........but I have never made Cinnamon Rolls.
4. I can make Duck Confit or Stuffed Quail for a crowd...........but this past Thanksgiving was my first real experience cooking a Turkey.
5. I have no problem putting together Beef Wellingtons or Braised Short Ribs......but I'd scratch my head if you asked me to locate the Sirloin or Flank Steak on a cow.
6. I know how to make just about every sauce under the sun.......but I had to figure out for myself how to make Pesto.
7. I was taught how to make Vichyssoise (a cold Potato Leek soup) and Borscht (a cold, Ukranian Beet soup)...............but I had to turn to FoodNetwork.com to learn how to make a Tomato Basil Soup.
8. In school, I made tiny delicate Blinis topped with Smoked Salmon and Dill......but I've never made or even eaten a Crepe.
9. I know how to MAKE Mozzarella cheese..........but until I messed up a batch of White Queso Dip on Cinco de Mayo, I had no idea that some cheeses simply don't melt. At all.
10. I could carve a Swan out of ice, butcher a whole Pig, fillet a 40 pound Salmon, or make an Ice Cream bowl out of egg whites..........but I still manage to mess up White Rice every time I try to cook it.
So there. Do you feel better about yourself???? :)
The Chef Next Door