Thermostat in class room 95 degrees
Today is the offical one month mark in the Natural Gourmet Institutes Chefs Training Program. This morning I decided to get to class early to beat the morning locker room rush and sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee (yes in the 100 degree weather). As I entered the classroom I felt a gush of hot air, "OMG its hotter in here than outside". I no longer had the desire to drink my coffee.
Our instructor for the day was filling up pitcher with water and lemon to keep us cool. I joking said " I see today is a simulation on working in a hot kitchen". According to the thermo stat is was a schorhing 95 degrees! Later to find out that the AC broke last night.
We hung in there, we learned more about sauces and infusions. Lucky were weren't on the stoves too much. I'm even luckier that I chose ot make an Almond Sauce that did not require me to be on the stove for too long.
Makes 2 cups
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 small shallots, minced (about 6 tablespoons)
1 head of garlic, roasted*
1/4 cup vegetable stock (if you can make your own BOUNUS YUMMY)
1/3 cup blanched almonds, soaked 10 minutes in warm water and strained
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup olive oil
sea salt to taste
1. In a small saute pan, reduce white wine with shallots until almost dry.
2. In blender combine shallots, roasted garlic paste, almonds and vegetable stock. Blend until creamy. Slowly add in the oils. Season to taste.
Try putting it over rice or a mild white fish, tilapia, flounder ect, with a glass of white wine.
To roast garlic: Peel off outer layers, cutt of top horizontally, rub with olive oil, cover with tin
foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 mins.
Blanch Almonds: Boil water place almonds in for about 1 minute, remove and place in a bowl with cold water and ice. AKA Blanch and shock
Reduce: Simmer liquid until it reaches a smaller volume
Don't let the sauce sit for too long, it will start to thicken, if it does thin out with some water.
If you need help send an email, but I may have to charge for personal visits :)
1st month check in - summary
It's going by so fast! It's a great experience, and overall 'good food' can taste good.
I still eat meat, but making the switch to organic/farm rasied, eating poorly treated animals doesn't appeal to me.
I don't think I'm cut out to work in a restaurant still, I think I'm at the point I can ask my instructors for some feedback on how I'm doing.
How does one mix, learning about good food, travel,and fun together? And also making our communites a better place to be!
We will see what happens.
“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