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Friday, February 20, 2009

Summer Vacation

I was a junior high/high school science teacher in my previous life/career. When the family and I headed North from California I got the crazy idea to cook for a living (more like enacted, I had the ‘got’ part a long time prior). I liked teaching and was pretty darn good at it, but the siren call of the sautĂ© pan was too much to resist.

I loved summer vacation, as do all teachers. There was a saying that the bad teachers really liked to laugh at “what are the three best reasons to teach?… June, July, and August” In the catering world we are just ending “June, July, and August” and the real work begins again. Oddly enough, during this ‘Summer Vacation’ my previous life has resurrected itself; I am teaching two classes for the culinary program at the junior college. It is a kick in the pants to teach what I love (my wife says the thrill has more to do with talking to/at a captive audience than the teaching part).

Here are my students for the quarter. Six individuals I get to mold and influence (hopefully for the good!). They have made tremendous progress in only six weeks. This week in a five hour class they produced:

  • 5 gallons of veal stock
  • 3 gallons of roast chicken stock
  • Two versions of French tomato soup
  • French onion soup
  • Asian vegetable soup
  • Two different chicken and tortilla soups
  • Three versions of bĂ©arnaise sauce
  • Four versions of avgolemono (Greek lemon sauce similar to hollandaise)
  • And three cut fingers.

Pretty impressive! Cheers.

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