Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Micro Blog: Carly Hall

Are you a new student at TCA…..how about some advice?
By: Carly Hall (second term)

I shall begin with the obvious….wash and press your uniform regularly.  Hem your pants. Make sure you trim your nails.  Sharpen your knives.  Wash your hands.  Wear your hat when entering the kitchen.  Please make sure you get all of your hair under your hat. Take your apron and towels off before entering the restroom.  Always keep a spare uniform close by. Write your recipes. Read your recipes. Don’t try to get anything past the Chef’s…..it won’t work.  Have fun.

Now for the less obvious…. You will have to take classes other than just kitchen. It would be in your best interest to volunteer for events. If you do not know something, ask.  Be on time for class.  Don’t miss class. Be professional. Be respectful.  You aren’t always going to get along with your classmates.   You aren’t going to be able to cook like you do at home.  Write your recipes. Read your recipes.  Learn how to convert recipes. Taste your food as you go.  Wear gloves. Don’t be afraid to salt your dishes.  Read the chapters you are assigned. Don’t be nervous (I’m still working on this one and it’s obvious, isn’t it Chef A?).  Learn your LAND OF G!  Have fun.

Some of you may be starting college for the first time and others may be making a career change but whatever your reason for going to school, you are now walking into the halls of TCA as first term students. Congratulations! This is a school where you can get a $47,000 education or a $147,000 education….it’s all up to you (Thanks for the motivation Chef Eric). You will learn a lot about yourself in the first term.  Can you do this?  You will soon find out.  What do you want to do when you graduate?  Don’t know yet? Then take your time and see what unfolds. You have never heard of that food?  Try it and see if you like it. You can’t make a sunny-side up egg?  You will after your first term.  Also know that it is very difficult to prank Chef Eddie.

Don’t question your ability to learn and grow.  Have trust in yourself and you will do things you never imagined. When I read this quote from Brian Andreas it reminded me of how I felt during my first term.  The first time her laughter unfurled its wings in the wind, we knew that the world would never be the same. I knew my world would never be the same when I left the social work field and entered culinary school.  I hoped my new choices in life would bring me the happiness I was seeking and thus far, it has.  Every day I wake up with a smile on my face and the excitement of learning something new.  Now is the time to make your decisions…will culinary school make you smile and ignite your passions too?

Remember the Land of G…1 Gallon = 4 Quarts = 8 Pints = 16 cups = 256 Tablespoons = 768 Teaspoons
Burn it in your brain!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Micro Blog: Ellen Davinson

Get Out of your way!
My blog is about my first steps getting started at TCA.
I hated school… In high school I was bored out of my mind! My favorite classes were art and gym. I turned 16 and a magical new opportunity called a GED was now an option. I got a ride to Wake Tech, took the test and passed it in one week. I went to high school and turned in my books.
I worked at a crappy job but I stuck with it and ended up moving from the bottom to the top. I had worked at fast food kitchens part time on and off and I liked it. I always brought in food for people I worked with and they all said I should sell what I made. I loved cooking and I had wanted to check out school programs for cooking but everyone said I would hate it! They said I only liked cooking because that was what I did for fun; I would hate it if I cooked for a living. That stuck in my head and I didn’t pursue that dream for years! Well, the company I worked for went bankrupt!  I was good at what I did but I didn’t like it. So here is where it all started!
I was sitting at home with my two kids that were home for the summer. I was watching TV and a commercial came on about TCA. I got mad at the TV thinking “Why do they keep showing this place if it’s not located around here?” I saw the commercial for the second time and I decided to call only to find out it is in Morrisville!!! I talked to Ashley and the next day I was coming in with my kids for a tour!   I thought “Oh Great, here comes the sales pitch: we are this, we are that, it’s so easy.” Nope! She said, “Here are the kitchens, here is what we offer, it’s up to you!” Class started in a week and it was $50.00 to hold your spot.
All the former doubts rolled back in my mind. You can’t, you will hate it, you can’t afford it, you won’t fit in, this is nuts!!!! I breathed in looked at my kids and I thought just jump! I signed the check and was set up for orientation! Now when I talk to all of the people who said I shouldn’t, couldn’t…. They say wow they wish they could do it!
My point is simple. Get out of your own way quit holding yourself back! The people who said they wish they could follow their dreams can do so! They just have to GET OUT OF THEIR OWN WAY.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Micro Blog: “Why Understanding Wine Matters to a Chef ” Mary Margaret McCamic

It’s easy to come to culinary school and focus on only one thing: food. So where does wine come in, and why does it matter? 

Wine, like food, is all about balance. A lemon bar is filled with sugar, but the lemon’s acidity makes it less cloying. A too bitter radicchio salad can be brought back to life with a little bit of honey. Evaluating wine is very similar - a truly great wine isn't defined by how sweet or dry it is, by how much alcohol it contains, by its acidity level, or by how fruity it is or isn't  It is how these components work together that really matters. This is balance.

Ultimately, wine becomes like an ingredient in a dish; a great chef must consider what wines will best partner with his or her cuisine. It seems only logical that the person creating the food should also be able to talk about how this final ingredient – wine – can enhance the meal. A restaurant that depends on spicy ingredients
could benefit from a wine by the glass with a little residual sugar. The sugar can soften heat and allow your palate to enjoy the other flavors. A crème brulée is even more delicious when sipping a glass of tawny port because it complements the caramelized sugar. Separately, great wine and food can be incredible. Imagine what can happen they work together.

Mary Margaret McCamic, DWS