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!