It seems like it was just last week when I first came into the school, sitting in a room full of strangers, waiting to be introduced to the kitchen and equipment and start a new episode of my life. But if I think about the first fish I have filetted or the first dough that I baked, first soup I made, it seems like forever ago. I have learned so much in this short period of time. Yet, I don’t feel I’ve learned enough.
The first month or so of the program was like a dream. I was so impressed by how everything’s carefully planned, I couldn’t believe how lucky I am to be part of this. All the time new types of surprises kept me on the edge and I felt I was doing pretty well. The next couple of months it reached sort of a plateau, became more of a routine and I had some points of frustrations. I felt less comfortable in the group and felt I could have been given more responsibilities from our chefs. The climax was when I found myself doing almost nothing in the guest chefs restaurant service, which supposed to be one of the highlights of the program. There were also many high points like working with new products, cooking and eating the regional meals, going on field trips. Mostly: the feeling of cooking independently and confidently.
I was hoping to get even more confident in five month, I thought it’s gonna be like the boot-camp of cooking, seriously tough and exhausting. It’s not like it was that easy. There were some very hard days, like the chicken day, and generally the regular days when we had to finish a recipe in a certain amount of time, each one to himself, were the bigger challenges for me.
I wrote a list of my fears of school on my way to Paris, and now it’s time to go back to that page and re-evaluate these fears in retrospective, before I’m going on my next chapter in the culinary world.