Thoughts For Food

Insights into the Mind of a Culinary School Student

Food Bites: Confessions of a Culinary Student

Title and inspiration thanks to one of my friends 🙂

I am now 2 weeks into my tenure as a CIA student and it’s been really great thus far. I’ve only got one class so far: Culinary Math. It’s basically a math overview/review, set in kitchen and bakery scenarios. We’re dealing with a lot of percents, percent yields, unit conversions and recipe scaling. It’s a bit tedious and I really do wish that I was in more culinary/baking classes, but I do understand the reasoning for this review class. I’m a bit shaky when it comes to math of any kind, and this class is helping me out in so many ways. I’m getting refreshed in math skills and I’m learning to identify when to uses these math skills in the kitchen (and in future classes).

Speaking of future classes, once my math class is done on June 18, I’ll start up my culinary classes. Nothing in the actual kitchens yet, but it’ll be good to get started. My roommates were nice enough to give me a heads-up on what I’m in for. Both Culinary Arts and Baking/Pastry Arts students share a core group of classes they need to take: Math, Writing (which I got transfer credit for), Product Knowledge and Food Safety. I can’t wait to get started. After those core classes are all done, then you move onto the classes that are more suited towards your program of study. My first class as a Baking/Pastry Arts student will be Baking Skills 1. I’m sure my textbook devoted to Bread will come in handy at some point there and in the future. It’s a little ways in the future, but I seriously can’t wait to get started. The one part that continues to boggle my mind is that we have no actual cafeteria on campus. All the production kitchens and teaching kitchens provide the food for the students on campus. In other words, if someone doesn’t do their fair share in class, the rest of us don’t eat. It’s kind of funny and kind of daunting at the same time.

And speaking of the food, the menu here is just about as varied as it can get. Counting the Apple Pie Bakery & Cafe and the Courtside Pub, we have 12 total places where students can eat on campus, using their ID card. We have Cuisines of Asia, Cuisines of the Americas, Cuisines of the Mediterranean and even a banquet hall that is also used to train people for banquet services and catering services. Needless to say, the menu here is limitless, and it just keeps on growing. The flavor profiles are through the roof and the menu for each kitchen changes daily. For example, one day you could pick up a Sashimi platter from the Asia kitchen. The next day it’s Korean BBQ. Over at the Americas kitchen, one day you could have Grilled Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes. The next day, it’s Cuban Seared Sea Bass with a Black Bean Puree. Down in the Mediterranean kitchen, one day it’s Penne in a Vodka Sauce with Clams, the next day, Roasted Lamb, straight from Greece. You can taste the diversity here. Literally.

If you ever get the chance to visit, try and get a reservation to any one of the 5 student-run restaurants and cafes on campus: American Bounty, which specializes in traditional and new age dishes from across the Americas. The Apple Pie Bakery & Cafe, which has wonderful baked goods and great cafe-fare. Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici, home to traditional cuisines and wines of Italy. Escoffier Restaurant, home to classic French dishes. And finally, St. Andrew’s Cafe, where everything on the menu was grown and/or raised locally and made fresh daily. I know it’s a blatant plug for the school, but it really is THAT good.

That’s all for now. I’ll see you guys later!

Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici