Our instructor made us Za'atar and flatbread last week while we were learning about herbs and spices.
Za'atar is traditionally used in the Middle Eastern cooking. Its very verestile and can be used on meats, veggies, and bread. Try this mix (add olive oil) at your next party. Move over olive oil and garlic!
Store za'atar in a cool, dark place in a plastic zip bag or in an airtight container. When stored properly, za'atar can be used from 3-6 months.
“There are still a few of us out there”, the older gentlemen said as he get me go in front of him to get on the 6 train. “Thank You! Have a good day, I'm happy there are a few of you left.” was my response. No, this is not your typical NYC scenario. I'm starting off to a good day.
I started the full time Chef's Training Program at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in NYC yesterday. I hope by blogging about my experience will a) keep my friends and family in the loop on whats going on b) share what I'm learning in school c) help shape the direction of Gourmet Diva
I wanted to attend this program due to its focus on health and wellness, and to be able to create a 'something' in Boston. The goal is as always make the experience of food fun and enjoyable. I'm keeping my mind open about what it is. You go in thinking you want X and an experience happens and Y happens. I'm open to feedback feel free to drop a line.
Something inside me resonated during my journey of building Gourmet Diva. I was constantly was bombarded with the statistics of obesity and other health conditions of people in urban areas and people of color. ( We can go into a conversation about why this is, maybe a facebook discussion?) Also learning about health conditions of others that are close to me and others that had opened up to me along the way. Hearing comments such as “Oh hellz no I would never become vegetarian because I don't want to eat salads all day”, had me thinking a little bit more about how we perceive food. There is sooo much to eat, try to focus on what you can eat instead of what you can't eat.
Summary of Day1 and 2
“Its like drinking water through a water hose”, you just take in a little and sit back. Eventually it will all sink in. We learned about the ins and out of the school and about our classmates. We are a small group of 11, most from out of state and out the country!!
If your into kitchen gadgets you would have loved today. We went over common items like a sautee pot and learned what a 'china cap' is. (Don't go running out to get one). I finally got to see a 'Vitamix' that Raw foodist keep talking about.
The big part of the day was getting our knife kits and learning how to use them. It was a humbling experience, it was learning how to write as a child. I have to keep practicing and eventually Ill look like the folks on tv. Ill write a blog dedicated to the knife with some tips. Pracitce makes perfect, and accuracy and precision is key. I had to keep telling myself “Be patience grasshopper, speed will come eventually”
Are you excited on being back home?
I felt like a fish out of water the first day. Even though I vist NYC often, its now making it become home again and becoming immersed in all thing NY – food trucks and all! Give me a few days and Ill get my groove back! Not excited about all the train delays.
What are your days like?
We are in class from Monday – Thursday 9:15 – 4:15 ish and Friday from 9:15am – 1:15pm. And we dare not to be late! We have to wear our uniform everyday (and some ugly clogs). At this point we have lectures and we do have to stand a lot. We also have outside class requirements that we need to fulfill either after class or on weekends. Sorry, were not allowed to text, tweet, or use Facebook in class :( Its very tiring and exhausting, I noticed I need about a ½ hr of quite time before I head on the train.
Do you get exams and homework?
Yes we do. Some are take home and the rest are evaluations.
Can I be a taste tester?
Sure! The great thing is that we have opportunities to cook for the public. We have a brunch, buffet and a “Friday Night Dinner” ( a three course vegetarian meal) requirement. If we have left overs we get to take them home.
Random: We can receive mail LOL. I love mail, I don't know why its just something personal about it. I can be a stationary junkie, pretty paper and pens. Feel free to drop me a line send a care package. Nothing crazy please.
Keesha O'Galdez CTP#188
c/o Natural Gourmet Institute for Health & Culinary Arts
48 West 21st Street 2nd Flr
New York, NY 10010
Its almost 11pm.. time t