Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Crap, I cut off my finger!

Kidding, kidding. All fingers are in tact, but there were some questionable moments where I took a chunk out of my fingernail and a cuticle that is a tad bit smaller than it was before I walked in. If you haven't figured it out yet, today was day 1 of learning knife skills. (KNIVES!)

I have knife skills, to an extent. I can chop an entire onion in about a minute. Are the pieces all the same size? Nope. It also turns out that I do not hold a knife properly, hence the awkwardness and close calls. So, today I learned the right way to chop an onion, garlic, carrot, and potato. We also learned many cutting techniques, such as julienne. So, the day consisted of me taking a whole vegetable and breaking it down into various sized strips and cubes. I would tell you the name of all of these, but they are all in French. And you probably don't care so much.

We all set up our work stations and started chopping. Everything in culinary school must be done in a technique called Mise en Place (pronounced meez ahn plahs) which means everything in it's place. Essentially, it is the opposite of the way that I work. I am more of a crap, I need this, running around with no real direction person. They don't so much like that there, so we have to have EVERYTHING WE COULD EVER POSSIBLY NEED before we can even think about getting started. It's probably a good thing for me to learn and I could benefit from carrying it out in the rest of my life...chances are that will not happen. There is a reason that this blog is called Erratic. Because I am crazy.

After we completed our cuts, Chef had to inspect them and tell us how well we did. I got a "fucking awesome, man" while others got a "pretty rad for day one." Chef kind of reminds me of Sean Penn's character in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He's a good time.

It is frustrating because I want to know it all right now, not sit and chop potato after potato after potato. I HATE CHOPPING POTATOES. I know the knowledge will come and that I just need to be patient. Much like Mise en Place, I think patience is a virtue I just do not possess.

No comments: