Monthly Archives: February 2012

School Tours: The French Culinary Institute and the Culinary Institute of America

I’ve been reaching out to a lot of my previous employers, chefs, bakers, business owners, who I worked with in the kitchen wayyy back when, in high school. It’s been so nice to hear their voices, listen to their advice, and have a bit of their perspective. We’ve been talking a lot about apprenticeships versus cooking school and I feel as though cooking school would be the best option for me at the moment. I haven’t been in a professional kitchen in at least five years and don’t have the confidence to move to another country and start knocking on chef’s doors to ask if I can be their apprentice. So, I’ve started researching schools and have begun touring a few schools in New York to get a better feel of what it is like to be in that environment.

So, last weekend we took a road trip up the Hudson River and spent time driving the back roads around Red Hook, Hyde Park, and Rhinebeck. On our way back down to the city, we stopped in to the Culinary Institute of America because we wanted to find a picnic table to eat our lunch. I spoke with two of the students sitting nearby and they encouraged us to walk around the school’s main building. Gorgeous. What an exquisite setting. We all felt like we were in Harry Potter and had been whisked away to Hogwarts. I cannot tell you how inspired this place made me feel and how thrilled I was to see the big kitchens, albeit empty, but I could imagine all the hustle and bustle when the students filled the hallways.

Then, last night, I went to tour the French Culinary Institute, also known as the International Culinary Center, on Broadway. It was so much fun to be in the middle of SoHo, shuffling through beautiful stainless steel kitchens, watching students meticulously measure water in their International Bread Baking courses, watching the chefs give students instructions, and seeing everyone dressed in chef whites. I’m so excited at the prospect of starting cooking school!

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A New Beginning

A lot has happened since the last time I touched this blog. I moved back to the United States, graduated from university, got a job in a consulting firm in New York City, and moved into a cozy apartment in Brooklyn. One would be inclined to imagine that I’d be the happiest girl in the world. I’m damn lucky. But my consulting job is not turning out to be what I had imagined; the man I love lives 5,000 miles away. I’ve been extinguished, suffocated, tarnished. I’ve lost my lackluster. So, my next challenge in life is to slowly, methodically, responsibly, and thoughtfully regain my passion for life and start by doing the first thing I ever loved in life: cooking.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Do one thing everyday that scares you.” This has always been an inspirational piece of advance and now, more than ever, I need to follow it. Cooking may not seem like a scary task but, in my case, I am looking for a full career change, leaving my life in New York, leaving a beautiful apartment with an amazing roommate, leaving a secure job, and moving to France to rediscover my joie de vivre. It’s a scary leap.

This blog has chronicled my life in France and now it will chronicle my attempt to return.

Let’s see how this goes!

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