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Taking the next step

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I am wrapping up my first year of culinary school and have learned a LOT, however my roommate surpasses me by light-years. Aside from working a lot, which I intend to do, what is the best way to stimulate the culinary mind?

I just want to learn EVERYTHING.
post #2 of 10
One of the quotes in my sig might help

"As far as cuisine is concerned, one must read everything, see everything, hear everything, try everything, observe everything, in order to retain in the end, just a little bit." -Fernand Point
"To be a good chef all you got to do is lots of little things well" -Marco Pierre

"As far as cuisine is concerned, one must read everything, see everything, hear everything, try everything, observe everything, in order to retain in the end, just a little bit." -Fernand Point
Reply
"To be a good chef all you got to do is lots of little things well" -Marco Pierre

"As far as cuisine is concerned, one must read everything, see everything, hear everything, try everything, observe everything, in order to retain in the end, just a little bit." -Fernand Point
Reply
post #3 of 10
How much experience did your roommate have before school? Was he/she cooking a lot from an early age? Or grow up in a culinary environment?

I know that I am not the swiftest person around and I see people that pick up on things easier than I do sometimes. It happens. Maybe your roommate is more passionate or has a natural knack for this type of work. Things don't always come as easy for some as they do others. They just have to work harder to make up for it.

Like my quote mentioned. Just experience as much as you can and pay attention to what you are experiencing is your best bet imo. Expose yourself to as much as possible.

Recently my whole life has been food related. I am at school learning, or on websites reading menus or how to do certain things, reading books / magazines, watching cooking shows, experimenting at home, creating recipes, volunteering at school for prep, practicing knife skills, thinking about cooking when I am not able to do any of the above. I find lately that when I am with my girlfriend (she doesn't cook) all I want to do is talk about food while she is talking about daily things. I am getting more passionate about food. That’s all I want to do.

It's not all good. I encounter problems here and there. I'm not where I feel I should be but you have to try to get past it. Some people just take longer to get to a certain point than others. That’s life. Sometimes you start off slow and things start to fall in place and work out in the end. It's not a competition. All you can do is the best YOU can do and that’s what matters at the end of the day.

Don't feel discouraged. Just expose yourself to as much as possible and try to retain all that you can.

Good luck
"To be a good chef all you got to do is lots of little things well" -Marco Pierre

"As far as cuisine is concerned, one must read everything, see everything, hear everything, try everything, observe everything, in order to retain in the end, just a little bit." -Fernand Point
Reply
"To be a good chef all you got to do is lots of little things well" -Marco Pierre

"As far as cuisine is concerned, one must read everything, see everything, hear everything, try everything, observe everything, in order to retain in the end, just a little bit." -Fernand Point
Reply
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
I dont have a problem reading everything, but I really have no idea where to start.
post #5 of 10
The beginning of course.

"Where is the beginning?" is a much more complicated question. Start with what you like, what you want to know more about, what you have no idea about, what are you weaknesses as a chef. If you're reading and/or learning, it doesn't matter where you start, just keep it up. Eventually you will identify with more precision what you want or need to know, and can read more specific topics.
post #6 of 10
What do you like about food? Italian? French? Japanese? South American? Any particular reasons why you decided to become a chef? Maybe you need a mentor...

Do you have a favourite restaurant? Look into these ideas and maybe subscribe to a decent food magazine. One of my favourites is Cuisine (www.cuisine.co.nz) as the photos are great and the writers know how to stimulate my appetite.
Travel is also a great way to get inspired.

Best of luck!
Kiwisizzler's blog

Good food is food that tastes of what it is!
Reply
Kiwisizzler's blog

Good food is food that tastes of what it is!
Reply
post #7 of 10

sss


Edited by LBGChris - 5/1/14 at 11:39am
post #8 of 10
Gratz on finishing the first year successfully! If you don't have a problem reading, then you really would know where to start off!
post #9 of 10
You will never know EVERYTHING, even if you do become a CMC sometime.

Its a daily process of bettering your skills and your knowledge. Admit to yourself and to others that you don't know it all, but you're willing to work at it. Instead of wondering how much more your roommate knows, ask him/her to teach you a few things. Since you're both in culinary school, it shouldn't be too hard to strike up a conversation about food and related subjects.

I'll admit I entered school with the mindset of IM GONNA BE THE BEST, but I've humbled up a little bit since then (and I still have a little more to go). I strike up conversations with just about anyone on the train/bus. People see me in chef whites and have alot of questions. I see students/teachers in chef whites and I just approach them and ask how things are going with them. Reading is great, but imho talking and listening to the broad range of people in this industry is the way to go.

*shameless plug* Also, reading and posting on Cheftalk couldnt hurt your chances either
post #10 of 10
I am still learning and still light years away from where I want to be but I have to say that these books listed below have been the most influential books that I have read.

*Kitchen Confidentials by Bourdain, the best cooking book you'll read
*The Seasoning of a Chef by Psaltis, talks about interning and staging in great detail
*Soul of a Chef by Ruhlman, general good read
*Reach of a Chef by Ruhlman, general read
*Roasting in **** Kitchen by Ramsey, good life story of one of the best
*On the Line by Eric Ripert, talks in great depth about how a Michelin 3 star restaurant operates (people) and has great pics.
*Chef Story's by Hamilton, talks about how 25 great chefs got to the top
*Devil in the Kitchen by Marco Pierre White, excellent read

All these books can be found at BN's

if you dont already have i recomend
these

-Happy in the kitchen is a good technique book
-The French Laundry cook book is must have
-Flavor bible is must have
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