Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hansel and Gretel

Many people are surprised (and sad) to hear that I can't bring anything I make in school home with me. We are encouraged to try (nay, gorge ourselves) on anything we make in class, but the leftovers are either dumped in the trash or donated to churches, homeless shelters, etc.

Chef told us this rule came about because someone once left food in his car overnight, ate it, got food poisoning, and then sued the school. Thanks a lot, buddy. I could have handed out those 20 excess baguettes as Christmas gifts.

Because of this, there's an avalanche of food to be consumed in our lab. Every morning, our cart is rolled in with all of the ingredients we'll use for the day. We receive probably twice as much as we need for each product.

And we eat everything. All. Day. Long. It goes a little something like this:
  • 7:30 am: Lecture about types of chocolate. We eat said types of chocolate. "EAT MORE!" Chef bellows at us jovially, as I look at the chocolate boxes, which are big enough to hold a flat screen tv.
  • 11:00 am: We mash 15-20 pounds of carrots (our rejected julienne and brunoise practice) with butter and salt and eat them. Newsflash: Mashed carrots are no mashed potatoes. No amount of butter will convince you otherwise.
  • 11:45 am: Artisan Breads class brings in a giant sheet pan of delicious rolls. I have no idea what kind of rolls they are because I'm still chopping carrots for a living. Everyone happily scarfs a few to erase the lingering carrot-mash taste.
  • 1:00 pm: A giant mountain of fruit waits for a fruit tasting. Unfortunately, we don't have time today, so we restrict ourselves to a few handfuls of grapes apiece as we head out the door.

Now, I consider myself a fairly adventuresome eater, and I'm definitely not one to turn down free food when it's offered. But apparently I'm in the big leagues now. I honestly don't think I've ever been in the company of someone who can put away more mashed potatoes than I can before (gross, but true).

To me, the funniest part of the situation is how Chef is constantly encouraging us to keep eating. Her instructions: "Everyone get a plate of mashed potatoes, eat them, and then get another plate. And another." I can't help but feel like Gretel (you know, of Hansel and Gretel) - like she's trying to trick us, fatten us up, and shove us in the oven. The GIGANTIC oven that's constatly fired up in the back of the room doesn't help this image... good thing I sit in the front of the classroom! I kid, I kid. But... again... good thing my chef pants have an elastic waist.


  1. How different our lives are now...I have nothing but coffee and a few crackers all day long. I wish we could combine middle school and chef school. Lunch detention is really cramping my style.

    Your favorite CM.

  2. Can you bring in pinch eaters, thia could be one place where your family could give you an edge