First day at Ferrandi
You’re all gonna get cuts, you know? Said chef Stephan while we were given a tour around school in the very first day. You have to know where the nurse is, hopefully no need for hospital but it happens. My belly turned when I imagined all the cuts I’m gonna get, but the excitement overpowered. This day was majorly practical, important information was thrown in an organized but confusing way. We met all the administrative staff and the chefs earlier that morning and the students introduced themselves.
While running around the hallways of this huge premises (takes almost a whole block), we got to have small chats with each other, getting to know all the new faces. When we were taken around the different kitchens and rooms, I was thinking I’m about to stand here tomorrow with my uniforms and start cooking. The equipment was briefly presented as the Cadillac of the stoves and the ovens are new and incredible.
New product come every day and one is expected to check his product and return it if it’s not fresh enough. When we stepped into the library I was very excited. It’s a library full of cooking books. I must admit that in my 3 years of B.Sc I never felt a need to take out a book from the library, that moment earlier today, I wanted to check out all the books.
We had our picture taken for the student card and headed to lunch. The cafeteria is large and many people came for lunch, I’m guessing from all the other programs the school offers. This is where we will be eating every lunch, not bad as some rumors claimed. They have hors de vors, salad bar, choice of three main courses (fish, chicken and meat), three side dishes, selection of desserts and fromages, yogurt and fruits, bread and dressing table (for the salads). We were asked not to go wild and just take normal amount.
The salmon was rather good, with creamed sauce and cooked vegetables, but the berry tart was fantastic.
After that and a little break, we headed back to the classroom to hear more specifics about the course and how a day in our new life will look like. Tomorrow we get divided into two groups: one with chef Stephan and the other with chef Sebastian (also one is an early class and the other late class, or the other way around, I’m not sure). There’s also chef Antoine which will be divided between the groups and will also teach the Monday pastry classes. So the usual routine is gonna be a morning or an afternoon 5 hours in the kitchen practical lesson, afterwards or before that a 2 hours theory lessons which can be about the practical that day or the next day, French lesson, history and geography lesson, wine matching or some other specialty class. Every other Friday is dedicated to a regional cuisine, where we execute a menu from different parts of France (of which we’ll learn on the history and geography lessons). Starting the end of the first month we’ll also take part in the lunch and evening servings of the school restaurants. Yes, we’re about to cook for real customers in a month!
The secret of the location of the field trip was revealed very quickly, Stephan couldn’t help but spill it out, it’s gonna be Bordeaux, his home city. Then we had to sign a bunch of papers and got many to fill and sign for tomorrow (French love documents, did I mentioned that?). We were given a lot of reading material of the rules and so on. We also got a huge book, of 1040 pages, “This will be your bible now, memorize it.”, was the explanation. The day ended, I dragged my bag for the next 3 day to Didie’s empty apartment on the 12 th district. It was a tiring evening because my bag was heavy and I had to switch metro lines (many steps, no elevators), then found out I got the number of the building wrong so I had to walk more. Then ran outside twice: once to buy some dinner and breakfast in the supermarket, and second time to buy fork and knife which there wasn’t any in the apartment. Found that out only after I came back for the first time. It’s not easy to find just a fork and a knife, not a set of 6 and not the expensive knifes, at 7PM in a place I don’t know at all.
Now I can relax before tomorrow. We’ll be trying on the uniforms and getting the knife set, going squeaky clean to the kitchen, ready to start cutting our fingers.