Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cool School

I am so excited! It's time for a shift in the observations expressed in this blog. The focus will be less on eating out in restaurants, and more on daily life in Baking & Pastry school. I start classes tomorrow, July 12, 2010, and it will be a year-long program. This is the most exciting thing I've done since I started acting professionally! I am just completely pumped about it: there's so much to look forward to, lots of things to learn and make and create; and most definitely a lot of hard physical work, and academics, too: there will be lots of homework and studying. There was a day-long orientation at the college (Art Institute of Portland), where I met some of the students I will be working alongside in the BP program. Near the end of the day some of us Culinary Arts folks were in a classroom and had an informal talk with four instructors and the Academic Director of the Culinary Arts Department. It was lively, students were responsive, and for me it was the most fun part of the day. It gave us a chance to ask questions that directly involved the classes we would be taking from them, like, Will all the labs be in the kitchen? (Any time in the kitchen is lab time), and Will we need to sharpen the knives in our supply kits? (No; they are factory sharpened). The instructors were interested in us, too, wanting to know where we were from, what we liked to eat, had we ever worked in restaurants; and they gave us some background info about themselves and the different kinds of places they eat, from restaurants, to farms, to private homes, and more. One news item I found interesting is that the college will be opening an on-site restaurant in three months. I hope I will be able to be involved in that in some way. At the end of the day we picked up our supply kits, including our chef uniforms. I love it! Especially the hat! It's a cute little baker's toque, not the big tall kind that master chefs wear.

In anticipation of starting classes soon, this past month or two I've been making a lot of different things I'd never made before, most of them very simple! They were all from scratch. A big part of my background is that I'm a longtime scratch baker at home. I made pizza -- it was much easier than I thought -- and a Persian lime pie with meringue topping and a graham cracker crust; a blueberry crisp, also with a graham cracker crust, and six cups of blueberries! I made an old favorite, a zucchini quiche with mushrooms and Swiss cheese; and today for breakfast I baked heart-shaped scones made with cherries and cream. It's going to be a great day!