Here I come! I'm a little scared to be honest. My fear really set in when I was making lunch a few days ago. I managed to have olive oil that was supposed to be sauteeing my halibut, go up in flames. I've never seen that before. It was shocking. I blew it out and quickly switched to a non-stick pan, which I probably should have been using in the first place. The fish didn't even burn but I did have a mini kitchen fire.
There will be fires no more, as I am learning to cook. I had originally intended on going to Le Cordon Bleu in Paris after I finished at Georgetown, but I put it off for various reasons. Was cooking school the right place for me? I don't intend on being a chef, but I do want to work in food and having the diploma from Le Cordon Bleu definitely won't hurt me. I set my reservations aside when after a recent conversation with Padma Lakshmi. "You need credentials," she said. "What sets you apart from any other blogger?" I knew she was right.
So, I bit the bullet...I registered for Le Cordon Bleu Hollywood. It may not have the exact ring to it as "Le Cordon Bleu Paris..." but I get to stay in LA, continue to pursue my other dream of being a food host, stay near to my family and go to one of the best cooking schools in the world, all at the same time. Plus with the weak dollar and the cold Paris winter I am not extremely eager to move to Paris at the moment.
The diploma program is 6 months plus a 6 week extern-ship in a real, live kitchen. It's definitely the extern-ship that intimidates me the most. But, seeing as that is 6 months off I'm not going to worry about it at the moment.
I went register at the Pasadena location-the largest campus in North America. There are two student run restaurants on the campus and one of them was having a holiday party for the students. An array of Christmas cookies, chocolates and candies, all made by Le Cordon Bleu students were buffet style. My admissions officer told me to help myself, and full plate of cookies later, we proceeded to do the paper work to get me signed up. A 30 question competency test is required and you are only given 8 minutes to complete it. I have to say the 8 minutes flew by...but I passed with flying colors. I proceeded to be fitted into the UGLIEST uniform I have ever seen. Literally. This thing looks like it was designed in the 80s and frankly, it probably was. Something tells me that Julia Child wore no such hideous outfit. It's almost as if they want us to look terrible so the food looks better. The hat really makes the outfit...it only comes in two sizes, one that was much too large and one that was much too small. So, I took the one that is too large...photos to come. But as the woman who was fitting me so kindly reminded me, this is not fashion school (obviously by the heinous outfits) but cooking school. Perhaps there is an opportunity here, for me to design some better outfits and make life easier for all those who enter cooking school after me...
So classes begin January 4th. I will be in school from noon-5, five days a week. I will tournee, brunoise, and flambe until I am blue in the face. But it will be worth it! For in less than 8 months I will have a diploma from Le Cordon Bleu and know how to cook!