Wednesday September 3: First Evening Class

Wednesday, September 3 2003 was my first evening of culinary class. Tonight’s class was Theory of Cooking from 5:00-7:50pm followed by practical work in the kitchen from 8:00-10:30pm.

After leaving my office at 4:30, I made my way to CSTCC for my 5:00 class. I parked in the parking garage and started the hunt for my classroom. It took a while — the classroom was at the far end of the building relative to the parking garage, so I was hiking.

But I made it. There were several people in the classroom when I arrived (about 15 minutes early for class), and more continued to arrive as the start time drew nearer. All told, there were probably 20-25 people in this class. Many of the students seemed to know each other, which was a bit of a surprise since this is an entry-level course.

The instructor came in and said that our first order of business was to walk down to one of the dining rooms to pick up our uniforms and knife kits. We hiked down to the dining room to meet Chef Jeff Sheldon who was managing the distribution of materials. The first words out of Jeff’s mouth were, “This is a mess. ALL of you are missing something. Some of you are missing a lot”. Not very inspiring, but it was true… Most kits (mine included) were missing 2 of the 3 neckerchiefs we’re required to wear. Mine was also missing my kitchen clogs. After inventorying our packs, we signed a sheet indicating what was missing and made our way back to the classroom.

Once back in the classroom, Instructor Pat Hueller introduced herself and distributed the syllabus. Students participated in an exercise to gauge their expierence level (we’re all over the place, experience-wise — there are several students who hold important jobs within the field, and there are others who’ve never picked up a knife, and everywhere in-between). We discussed the first few chapters of our textbook, PROFESSIONAL COOKING by Wayne Gisslen. She also assigned us a few more chapters to read, a paper, and instructed us to bring in a meaningful cooking book that we own and to be prepared to discuss it with the class with the idea of building a reference list for ourselves.

After class, we went down to the main kitchen for an orientation and ‘tour’ of the facility. After the tour, we were released to go home a bit early.

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