Thoughts For Food

Insights into the Mind of a Culinary School Student

Life in the CIA: A Look Back

Well, here we are. I’ve started my last class as an Associate’s Student here at the CIA. Come March 23rd, I can call myself an alumnus of the school…until I come back in June for Bachelors. But that’s another story.

This journey I began a little over 2 years ago is almost done. Over those two years, I have progressed so far and learned so much. I’m certainly not the same person I was when I began. I was scared first starting out, but at the same time, I was certain that this was the correct move to make at this part in my life. I wanted to ensure that I did all I could to combine my love of food and love of writing a reality. It’s been a rough road filled with many hardships and a setback or two, but here I am, so close to the end.

I’ve met some incredible people and some wonderful chefs along the way and I am so thankful that I have. I’m, thankful for all the lessons I’ve learned and all the skills and recipes that I’ve acquired. I look forward to continuing my education when I return in June, thought the break will be nice and may I add, well-deserved.

I’ll keep this short for now. I hope to end on a positive note!



Life in the CIA: Post-AOS

In the past few months, I’ve cleared a major hurdle in my education here at the CIA, only to reach another one. Between April and August, I completed my externship and in doing so, was able to stay on campus and complete the rest of the Associates Program (AOS) here at the CIA. So far, post-externship classes have been really fun and informative. It’s all AM classes now and I couldn’t be happier than I am right now. I’m learning so many new techniques and working with all sorts of new and exciting decorating mediums. The one thing that has dawned on me now, is that my academic life here seems to be on fast-forward.

The first batch of classes, which lasted 6 weeks as opposed to the normal 3, went by in a flash. Now, the class I’m in is almost done and it seems like only yesterday that it just began. I’m sure part of this is because the group I’m in is very fun to work with and makes even a 7-hour class seem like nothing. And I’m sure that, the fact that I thoroughly enjoy the material being taught also makes the class go by much quicker. That being said, time seems to be going by and an abnormally fast rate and I only have a handful of classes left before my AOS Graduation on March 23rd, a date that is now rapidly approaching. I’m excited and nervous at the same time. I can’t wait for the next few classes in the AOS program to come around, but at the same time, I want to savor each one, because I know that they’ll be really fun classes (see: Chocolates & Confections).

That being said, I still can’t wait for graduation and what comes after. Many students opt to end their time at the CIA here, after AOS is done. Two years and then it’s off to the industry, which is a great idea, don’t get me wrong. I’m just opting for the other route, which means sticking around for the Bachelors Program. It’s another year of schooling, although more academic this time around. Classes such as Management and Accounting form the core of the curriculum, but there are electives such as Food in Literature, Anthropology of Food, and The History of The Americas that make the overarching BPS program that much more interesting. The one thing that really makes the program interesting is the Food, Wine and (Agri)Culture class and the class trip. To me and many of my friends, this is the crux of the program. As a part of this class, you get to visit any one of the following locations and study the culture and food of the area:

  • Northern California
  • Southern California
  • Pacific Northwest
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • France
  • China

I feel like in addition to the trip being incredibly fun, it will really help in expanding your culinary knowledge, as well as help you grow as a person. Can’t wait for BPS.

Food Bites: NJ_Chef Goes to School

Hey guys! First of all, I just want to thank everyone who commented and read my Pizza Week extravaganza. I hope everyone enjoyed it! I always love enjoy sharing my recipes with you all and will continue to do so. What can I say? I love writing about food, which is exactly why I am heading off to culinary school very soon!

I’ve mentioned this in my About Me post, but I think it bears repeating, seeing as how the time is rapidly drawing closer. By May 31, I’ll be moved into the Culinary Institute of America, starting my classes at that most prestigious of schools. I’ll continue to keep this blog updated while I’m at school, giving you an insight into the life and times of a Baking and Pastry Arts student. And I’ll even share new recipes that I will no doubt learn while I’m there. I’m also keeping this blog up to hone my own culinary writing skills, mainly because of what I want to do once I’m done with school.

My plan so far for when my tenure at the CIA is done is thus: once I’m done with school, I’ll be in the food industry for some time, honing my craft and perfecting my skills. Either during or after that time, I would like to do one of two things; go to work for a culinary publication like Food & Wine Magazine or Food Network Magazine, or, become a culinary instructor. The first option is kind of obvious, considering my love for writing. The second option actually stems from a long time period of me doing some soul searching about what exactly I want to do with my life. For the longest time, I convinced myself that I could never be a teacher, despite teaching running in my family. However, after some soul searching, i realized that if I’m teaching something I enjoy, then it won’t be as bad. So I am definitely keeping that option open.

Well that’s all for this post! I’m working on a new recipe so expect it up sometime soon. I’m also working on the second installment of Chef Spotlight. See you all later!