Aug 15th marked the end of my husbands and my first term as Le Cordon Bleu students! I couldn’t believe it went by so quickly but then I added it up:

(4 hr/day) x (5 day/w

k) x (6 wk) = 120

classroom hours

+90 mins hw/day m-f = 45 additional hours
Suffice to say 165 hours plus extra weekend immersion in the culinary world via magazines, tv, cookbooks, restaurants and cooking at home was adequate for six weeks of study and I’ve enjoyed nearly every minute of my tutelage thus far.

In our Career Success class we focused on professionalism and building Cover Letters, Resumes and Thank you letters.

Food Safety and Sanitation was precisely that; a class teaching the regulations and laws of safe food environments to prepare us for the kitchen as well as the National Certified Professional Food Manager examination that is regulated by state. The exam consisted of questions on time frames of temperature danger zone, temperatures at which to cook foods, HACCP procedures, proper cooling and storage, bacterial chemical and physical contaminants, pest control, food quality management and many other requirements for an establishment to be safe to serve to the public and in turn pass a health inspection. (Managers NEHA last five years unlike the Servsafe that lasts two for servers and other restaurant employees.)

Culinary Foundations 1 centered on teaching the ways of the kitchen starting with the brief history of the founding fathers of Classical French cuisine; Marie-Antoine Carême and August Escoffier. From these two men we are educated in Grand Cuisine and the organization of the kitchen known as the “Brigade System”. We learn how each station chef performs in the kitchen followed by our chef instructor demonstrating the cooking methods and responsibilities of each position. From our first day we practice good habits from proper knife skills to cleaning and sanitation of the kitchen. Yes, we have to clean the kitchen after class from tabletop to mopping. That news was shocking and even appalling to many of my classmates. It seemed like common sense to me, why would someone else clean my mess? We learned the basics of Leading Sauces and cooked in groups every other day at our lab. There was a four-part exam consisting of a Written Exam (including conversion math), Product Identification (tools, ingredients etc),Performing Knife Cuts (Macedoine, Batonnet, Julienne, Brunoise, Tournet) and Emulsification Practical (making Mayonnaise). Studying for this was very stressful for many people but I implemented a schedule to study and review the material everyday as well as do research outside of class so I had more of a review than a study session.

Overall the first term was a good introductory pace to the culinary world. My classmates are a spirited group full of energy and laughter although we could learn a thing or two about teamwork and efficiency. I have a feeling that will change promptly this coming term. My Chef instructors motivated and enthused my passion. With their education and guidance I earned a 96% in Career Portfolio, 96% in Food Safety and Sanitation and a 97% in Culinary Foundations 1. I’m proud to say that I’ve never been tardy or absent and I obtain the highest grades in my class.

LCB gives us a delightful 4 days off of school, so this mom and her family are hopping a flight to Wisconsin Dells to the home of the Kalahari Resort where we will be enjoying the much-needed indoor and outdoor water parks as well as indoor theme park! Rest&relaxation, no that’s for the birds let’s get wet&wild!

Alas August19th starts my second term at Le Cordon Bleu Los Angeles with Culinary Foundations 2. “Whisk” me luck! ?

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