Another group of students has come and gone from the kitchen. It is a brief time to get to know these students, but there is no doubt they leave a mark. Here is a quick view of the July class of 2008.
Alexis came to the school from Albuquerque N.M. Originally she was going to take the course along with her mom, but then her mom moved to Sydney Australia. Alexis would give me the daily temp (or nightly) in Brisbane which she could quickly access on her Iphone. OK has Apple really done us a favor with these phones, because they are worse than crackberries, they should call them Imainlinephone. Of course I want one too but I think they should come with a warning “will cause you to lose focus on the rest of the world around you and force you to check it any moment you are summoned by its dark spell.”
John is a Thespian, who like most struggled to make his art a career and wanted to tap into his other passion: cooking. What I will remember about him the most was the way he would critique a dish during our critique sessions each day. He would bring his hand close to his face and repeatedly tap his first three fingers in sequence on his thumb when he discussed the nuances of a dish. It is one of those idiosyncratic behaviors only noticeable to others.
Kiah Braly and Brian Terry
Kiah (pronounced Kaya) came to our school from Cheyenne Wyoming and was a great addition to the group. Always passionate and eager to learn. She became a little squeamish when it came time to kill live lobsters, but managed to make it through the day.
Brian Terry came to our program just a few days before start time. He wanted to take the program because he is a commercial real estate designer and wanted to apply direct cooking knowledge to his designs for restaurants. He is also an avid cook and I feel that his cooking improved greatly during the program. I’ll remember he had a different cool watch for each day of the week.
Nic came to the school to kick the tires as a “Cook for a Day” and I recommended that he instead start right away which he did. An avid snowboarder (even a snowboard instructor) he came to us from Breckenridge by way of Vermont. He was always extolling the virtues of maple syrup and Phish. He would strugle making cartouches (parchment paper cut out to make disposable lids for our pans) that I nicknamed him Pancho. He would always ask the most out of the blue questions, thinking way ahead of my lecture to some mildly pertinent topic. He was also a big energy drink consumer. He wore white rimmed glasses and a loud hooded snowboarder jacket once it got cold. I’ll have to ride with him one day.
Joey Cristensen, aka Joey Blue Fingers, aka Joey Red Bull or even Joey Blue Gills was on fire when he first walked through the doors of our school. He was so ready get started with the program. He kept that energy every day, except for maybe the day after his brother’s 21st Birthday. I would ask him each day how he was doing and he would say “just short of marvelous chef.” He chugged down two red bulls every day before 9am, thus the nickname. He xtolled the virtues of Wisconsin cheese and beer. I told him that I had never tasted cheese curds and one day he brought some in. We breaded and deep fried them. He was so happy to be transported back home.
Joey after an all nighter writing his regional paper
Joey came in the morning after spending all night writing his paper just dragging. We lectured and then he came up to me and asked if he could lie down a little. The way he looked I felt it was inevitable he would pass out. 3 minutes after he asked permission I found him in this chair. Nonetheless, I have seen few students come thorugh our program with as much desire to make a career out of cooking than Joey. Hold on to your dream Joey.
Deanne was a fabulous student. Both a talented cook and a wiz at the acedemic side. Don’t misread her name and pronounce it the way it is spelled. It is pronounced Daneen……some relative was spelled and pronounced the same way. Mother of two young sons and this didn’t slow her down a bit. Bright future ahead for her.
Kay came to us from Michigan. she developped a lot during her time with us in the kichen. She is living with her daughters and is adjusting to a whole new lifestyle.
Lori is very litteral and very detail oriented, the kind of student that writes more information then you need. She really worked hard at picking up this craft. One day I asked her to toast some rice for rice pilaf and she put rice on a sheetpan and was about ready to put it in the oven when I interceded. “What are you doing?” I asked. “toasting rice” she said. Very litteral. She gained a lot of insight into the world of food while she was here. Very bright and with enough repetition she will grasp the essence of this craft and master it.
Michelle was another great student. She came to us from a career in the corporate management world of Chilis. Our school has to be the antithesis to Chilis. She worked hard every day and volunteered often for Taste 5s and other classes. A very accomplished test taker. She announced her engagement to us one day and a week later she announced she was married.
Overall this was a very good group of students. All were passionate about food and some will certainly be great if they tirelessly pursue this craft. This craft takes a lot out of people and many drop off in search of an easier life. It’s a fun ride if you stick with it…………………………so don’t give up!