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JWU RI week 4

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yesterday I didn't feel good so I took the day off and worked on my paper. It was time I really needed because I don't feel like I get a proper chunk of time before or after class, but if I had felt up to par I would have gone to class.
I cannot find a sauce that features saffron so for now I am going for a vinaigrette I found. It's probably not what the chef has in mind, though. I will have to keep looking. I also need to find a dish that features saffron but I know that will not be hard. My paper is on Spanish cuisine though, and I have to be careful to pick a dish that is Spanish and not Indian or some other cuisine that happened to use saffron once in a while.
The paper is due Thursday and I am pretty happy that the main body is basically done and I just have to do this recipe stuff. I also have to convert the sauce recipe to a quart and the dish recipe to 20 servings.
You have to understand that all my life I have procrastinated, and I still do for the most part, but I am almost giddy that I actually did something earlier than the night before this thing is due.
post #2 of 16
Be careful with the procrastination. I turned in a paper one day late because of it and the chef dropped my letter grade on the paper down one.

I seem to recall seeing a sauce including saffron in this version of the Escoffier cookbook. I recommend buying it; it's cheap and a great resource.
Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
post #3 of 16
How about Paella? We served it at a restaurant I worked at a couple years ago....so good I would step over my own sister for a single bite!

Ciao...soup :lips:
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
i don't think finding a dish will be a problem, I was thinking paella because that is classic Spanish food.
I am not doing so well in this class :( I got a 73 on the quiz. I can only hope I can really buckle down and do well on this paper and on the final. I think the type of chef we have really affects how I do in the class and I have to learn to get past that. Tomorrow is our last class this week and Thursday we have to go to career day, where a bunch of companies come and I guess if you are looking for a job you go talk to them, and if you are not looking for a job you kind of chat them up anyway and find out what kind of requirements they have for hiring. Sooo...yeah.
post #5 of 16

study study study!!!!

I understand you only have class four days a week there....? I would try and take advantage of that extra day as much as possible.... hit the books! Once you learn the basics you can really focus on your work in the kitchen. As far as how youre doing in class being affected by the type of chef-instructor you have, try as hard as you can to get as much from him/her as possible. In a perfect world, we would always be able to work with people that motivate us they way we need to be. Unfortunately, we all end up working with or being taught by someone who we dont exactly mesh with. And for your upcoming career day: is this for jobs for students to take while your going to school, or for an upcoming externship? It seems somewhat odd that they would have students thinking about a job for after you graduate before you even finish your first semester. Let us know how youre doing, and keep your head up!!!!

post #6 of 16

Re: JWU RI week 4

Kate, I understand your situation, and admire the effort you're making. But ... this is an industry in which it's only okay to take time off if you are at death's door, or in danger of spreading something awful to the customers. This is not right, but that's the way many, many people think. Unfortunately, it's still a terribly macho business -- "I'm tougher than YOU" -- and just "not feeling up to par" too often gets you fired. I just want to warn you, because I want you to succeed.

"What does not kill me makes me stronger." -- Friedrich Nietzsche
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
post #7 of 16

right on suzanne...

Suzanne has made a VERY valid point.... this industry is not very easy going when it comes to not showing up. Think about it this way....if you are the chef at a restaurant, and one day you dont feel quite up to coming in to work, what happens?! Are you going to just close down for the day......sorry folks, no food today? Im not in any way trying to be mean...I just think you need to know what youre getting into. I am going to be starting school at the CIA in early december, but I have been working in restaurants for over six years now, and have a pretty good grasp of what it takes to make it as a professional chef. From washing dishes all the way up to sous chef and everything in between. The cirriculum at the CIA is somewhat rigorous, they give you two weeks off for the holidays, and two more in the summer to do maintenance on the equipment. Other than that, the school only shuts down for four hours a day....(breakfast cookery starts at 3 am....and pm classes can run until eleven) I welcome the challenge!!! I would really like to see you succeed, as I feel we could use more good women cooks and chefs. I have worked with several women over the last few years (yes in the kitchen, not as waitstaff) and they have brought a different element to the kitchen than some of us men. Best wishes!!!!

Ciao....paisan :beer:
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
I appreciate everyone's concern. I know it is a bad idea to skip class and I do regret it, but I felt like I needed the time to get some work done and also to recover before it gets worse.
It is true we have only 4 days of school a week, and yes, I do study over the weekend. However I am the type of person who doesn't learn by reading. If I could just read recipes and books all day and learn how to cook, why would I go to school? Yes, I suppose for the degree, but I am not here just for a piece of paper. I came here for hands on experience and I feel like I am not getting enough of it.
Well I really have to get going; I have to finish my paper and I am going to try to hand it in today. It is due at 10:30 tomorrow morning and I know I will not have anything to add to it if I can finish it today.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well I am feeling a little better about my work today. I got a 90 on the previous quiz, feel like I did well on today's quiz, and got complimented on my espagnole sauce. I can't take all the credit though because it was a combination of my sauce and someone else's. Still, I was the one watching over it all day while it reduced.;)
About career day tomorrow; I know it seems far away to think about graduation but I think it is a good idea to know what companies are looking for; whether they really see a difference between an associate's and bachelor's degree, what kind of pay they give, what kind of jobs they forsee a demand for, etc. Career day is mostly there for people who want to get a job during school but I am not looking for that, so I will be thinking more about the future.
I am not looking forward to dining room class; it seems like nobody takes it seriously, including those being served.
Another gripe I have; the chefs like to change things around, which I can understand. But how are we supposed to learn how to make classic, basic stocks and sauces when the chefs keep playing with the ingredients and amounts? What is the point of copying down 20 recipes if we can just throw the cards over our shoulder and improvise the next day? I was making a bearnaise today--calls for 1 teaspoon of tarragon. Chef comes over and dumps about 3 tablespoons into the bowl. So I put the reduction on the stove and got together the rest of the ingredients. After my reduction was done I put it on the table to cool and continue getting the other ingredients. I come back to find my reduction was gone, turned out chef had made the sauce for me! (sigh)
As for knife cuts I still have no practice. Looks like I have to wing it.
post #10 of 16
Hey Kate! good show on the quiz score.....keep it up! As for your career day, try not to let the talk of money get to you.... too many students come out of school with dolla signs in their eyes and take the first chef job they can get, only to one day realize they dont know much at all. Remember, your formal education is only the first step on a tall ladder to success. When you do go and seek out a job, look for one where their is a reputable chef, and if possible, where the chef actually works in the kitchen quite a bit so you can learn all you can from him or her.

And about dining room class......TAKE IT SERIOUSLY!!!!! Who is going to be selling your food?!?!?! You need to know about every aspect of the restaurant if it going to be succesful. If the front of the house is terrible, your rest. suffers terribly. Ive been to, and hae gone back to places where the food was great, but the service sucked, and have never returned, where as a place with mediocre food and a great waitstaff always brings us back. You really need to work and understand all parts of the restaurant to know whats going on and to be a great leader. It also gives you a better understanding of how hard the job can be.

Now your chef-insrtuctors are always changing their minds?!?! Do you have a book that the school puts out, a textbook to go by? Seems like a bit of confusion going on at J&W. It would help if everyone was on the same page. Im the last one to follow the herd, but if youre running an institution, you need some sort of guidelines. Sounds like a real nosebleed! And as far as knife cuts, you dont use them everyday while cooking; batonettes, dice, julienne, tournee, that kind of thing? They should have you doing basics first, and then build on it.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
I feel the same way; we should learn basics first and build on it. But we don't. I got to school and was thrown into American Regional Cuisine. Not knife cuts, not sanitation, not safety. There hasn't been any formal training on any of that yet but we are expected to cope, I guess.
Also I do agree that dining room should be taken seriously. My comment was meant to mean that I am disappointed nobody takes it seriously. It seems very informal.
Yes, we do have a recipe book that we are expected to copy recipes from and use in class, but in both my classes so far, the chefs do it different, ie the change to the bearnaise yesterday. I don't know who to go to about this.
Well I really have to get going, print out a couple articles for my paper, and turn it in.
post #12 of 16
Well Kate, You could probably refer to an administrator or the Dean about all of the confusion about recipes. Just be sure to choose your words wisely, you dont want to rock the boat too much, it may make for a hard time at school. It does sound as if they need to find some sort of standard to go by though.
What you said about the "hands on" approach being the best way for you to learn is true for everyone, the best way to learn it is to do it. If you could pssibly swing it, it might be a good idea to get a part-time job somewhere to put what you are learning in class to work. A prep cook position would be great for you to hone up (pun intended) on your knife skills. I know it is a lot of work to be in school and hold a job, but you have to remember, when you get out of school and start working in a production kitchen full time your looking at looooooong days between 10 and 16 hours on your feet. Trying your hand at doing both will better prepare you for the long road ahead. If the rigorous schedule is something you dont think you will want to deal with, you might want to reconsider working towards being a chef and get into a different area of the food industry where the hours arent so hectic. Good luck on your paper!!!

Ciao....paisan :BEER:
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have always kind of thought that maybe a chef position wasn't quite what I was looking for after school, but I had the impression that with a degree in culinary arts, there are more options than just a chef position. Maybe I would like to work under a chef in another postion in a brigade, such as garde manger, or maybe I would like to work slightly smaller scale such as an inn or something. My boyfriend and I were joking about an idea to open an inn where people can bring their pets with them, because so many places exclude pets.
I know most people probably don't think it's "worth it" to go to school if you are not going to be head chef somewhere, but I do.
By the way, is it bad that I am dreaming about whisking hollandaise?
post #14 of 16
Am I reading you right? When you say the impression that I get is that you think one normally goes right to being a chef after finishing school? :confused: Surely they're not telling you that at J&W. And what to you mean by "JUST a chef position?" (emphasis added) :confused: :confused: That's a lot more than "just." I'm sure that at some point you have a Career Development course that explains what the whole foodservice industry includes; it's too bad that they don't start you off with it.

This goes with your lament that instead of starting with Knife Skills, you were thrown into American Regional. Kind of defies logic, to NOT start with the absolute basic information. But at least you are smart enough (and more :) ) to recognize what you need to know. That puts you in a better position than a lot of others. Keep plugging!
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
post #15 of 16
Kate...There are several directions you can go with a degree in culinary arts. Im not sure of the courses offered at J&W, i went to their site to take a look, but was unable to locate the info i needed. I would imagine some of the things that you could look into would be management, instructing, food writer/editor, food stylist/photographer, catering, etc. Of course a good amount of experience apon graduating is necessary as well. I happen to be one of those people who aspire to be a chef eventually, but if i ever change my mind down the road, the options are there for me. Good luck with J&W's wacky approach to the order of their cirriculum too....at least you are aware of what you should be learning in order to accomplish the classes in which they put you.

Oh.....and by the way, a couple nights ago i had a dream about making out my order sheets.....1 cs. 10 oz steaks, 40#'s beef bones, 1 cs. chicken breasts.....oh my god i am losing it....:crazy:

post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Ok, it looks like a lot of what I have said has been misread. I don't mind clarifying, but if something really doesn't make sense, re-read it and try to put different intonations on words, if something sounds wrong. It is hard to stress certain words online and therefore some things come out the wrong way. What I meant to say is, I expect that more will be available to me upon graduation besides a chef position. I was using the word "just" not in a degrading way, but in a way meaning "solely". I know I do not want to be a chef and I was saying that I expect to be qualified for things other than that. I know I will not be able to handle the hours, the leadership position, etc. and I certainly hope that is not all that I am expected to be able to do when I get out of here.
If anything, this school will be a benefit to myself and to those I cook for. But ideally this school will give me opportunities to get a job to support myself, doing something I enjoy.
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