Friday, July 23, 2010

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

In an effort to increase awareness about my blog and make it "valuable" I need more readers (a.k.a followers). So... I am inviting my followers to dinner. Not all of them, however. Follwers (see list on the right hand side) number 1,5,10,15, 20 and 25 as well as the top two individuals who post the most comments in the next year will be invited to a gourmet meal prepared by myself in Springfield, MO next August ,upon my graduation from school.

To qualify, the above mentioned followers just need to make a comment to this post when they register. And  comments will be tabulated at the end of July in 2011 to determine the top two individuals who posted the most. Their user names posted here as well.

I hope this sounds fun to you all, because it does to me!!!!! I can't wait to see who's coming to dinner!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bastille Day

So the first time Bastille Day really popped on to my radar was from a July issue of Martha Stewart Living from the early 2000's. She did a wonderful spread of fresh summer foods from a local market in, where else ,but New Orleans. The photo shoot was conducted at a beautifully renovated shotgun house not too far from the Quarter. Funny how you can remember such things. For those of you not familiar with Bastille Day, it is a French national holiday, commemorates the storming of the Bastille, which took place on 14 July 1789 and marked the beginning of the French Revolution.

Why am I blogging about Bastille Day? Well in conjunction with my pre orientation visit to Le Cordon Bleu they held an open house for the public which included a wonderful french cooking demonstration and an Student Iron Chef competition focused on French style cuisine. Le Cordon Bleu has a very long and prestigious history in the culinary arts and around the world. The School's history had humble beginnings on a small street in Paris and has grown to encompass over 29 campuses world wide.

I was so excited to be able to attend these demonstrations last weekend as well and get fitted for my chef coat and pants, verify all my financial aid, and meet with the Director of Education at the school!!! I had huge plans of taking stellar pictures of the demos and just hanging out a bit. Unfortunately, life happens and plans change. While I made the trip to the school, I also had my 2 1/2 year old son with me and he was not as interested in learning knife techniques as he was in raiding the eclairs and other goodies the bakerie and patisserie students had prepared for the guests.

C'est la vie, I know I will get to practice my photography skills soon and I'll have countless of hours at school coming up soon. Do not take the above picture as an example of my skills, this was taken from my phone. ;0)

Friday, July 9, 2010

What's Next?

Once the decision was made, I began looking into culinary schools. Location, cost, and duration were the biggest factors. My son, Rhys, who is two and a half would stay at home with his dad so, I needed to look at something pretty close to Springfield, and that alone, narrowed down the field considerably to basically four schools. Duration was the second obstacle to over come. I already have a BA and an MA, I didn't need to go to school for another degree like an AOS (Associate Occupational Science). Another degree would take me two or more years to complete, thus dropping the eligible schools down to two. Cost, was the biggest issue. The cost for culinary school is ridiculous!!! Why these institutions can charge $20,000 for a program that when you get out you'll be lucky to make $10/hour is beyond me. It's crazy! I guess they can, because there are lots of people who are just as nuts as me. Between my two eligible schools left I was looking at a school in Boulder and one in St. Louis.

Culinary School of the Rockies was awesome! They had both a 9 month farm to table program and a four month Chef Track program made for people just like me. The four month program was very appealing, however there was no financial aid available for the program through the school and it was 12 hours away from home. Although it would have been nice to return to Colorado, this choice wasn't feasible financially or personally. I just couldn't leave Rhys for that long of a period of time.

Thus, I decided on Le Cordon Bleu School in St. Louis. A bit more expensive, but the school offered financial aid both federal and an in house lender. I had to utilize both in order to cover the tuition cost as I still have outstanding loans from graduate school. The entire program should take about 42 weeks and I can come home on the weekend to spend time with Rhys. I can also live at my mom's or brother's house while in St. Louis during the week, so really a no brainer. On the bonus side, I should be receiving the same quality of education in St. Louis as I would at one of the other LCB campuses in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, or Chicago.

At this point, I've got school paid for (Ouch!). I have a place to live (Ugh!). I've turned in my resignation (Whoa!). And now, I wait, and wait for school to start.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I did it! I actually did it! I just quit my completely stable job with good pay, 27 paid days off a year, and full benefits to go to culinary school! What was I thinking!?! I know it sounds crazy and it is. Just ask any line cook you know. If you don't know any, trust me on this, ALL of them have said I am nuts! That mentality just makes me want to do this and succeed even more.

This was not a quick decision, believe me. I've researched this career change for months. I got on to several forums, talked to restaurant owners and chefs, and read a ton of articles about the industry.  I tried to figure out just how to work out all the numbers, and the idea just wasn't adding up to be a "smart" choice. There was no way we could swing the pay cut and the cost of tuition for school at the same time. So I pushed the idea to the back of my mind.

And then it happend! I woke up one moring in mid-May and I just knew. I just knew I was going to go to culinary school and I was the one to make it happen. Sometimes if you want something bad enough you have to make it happen and only you can do it, no one else can do it for you. So I got to work on what seemed to be an impossible task, going to culinary school.