Level 1 Practical Exam

This past week I completed Level 1 of cooking school and started my second! I knew this program would fly by, but this is just crazy. I feel like just yesterday I was moving to the city and starting my culinary journey. I’m praying it slows down, but I’m not keeping my hopes up because I’m having the time of my life.

For our final in Level 1, we had to complete a comprehensive written test, as well as a practical where we actually cooked for a grade. This was the first time we were going to be given a letter grade for our own, individual cooking and boy, was I nervous. We had to cut up a carrot julienne, a turnip jardiniere, a onion ciseler and emincer, and a shallot ciseler, all in 20 minutes. After that we had to clean an artichoke in 15 minutes and cut two potatoes into eight cocottes (little footballs) in 15 minutes. Finally, we had to make tomato fondue (which is basically a tomato sauce) in 30 minutes. All of the tasks were not challenging, it was just the time constraints that were making me so anxious.

Leading up to the practical I practiced as much as I could in my apartment. However, once I got to school that morning, my nerves got the best of me. About 10 seconds after Chef V said “you may begin” on our first task, I sliced right into my thumb with my chef’s knife. I knew it was just a little cut, but it was deep enough that I definitely needed a Band-Aid. I quickly wrapped up my thumb, took a deep breath and continued on. I shouldn’t have been so nervous because I ended up doing fine. I was so happy to see that all my classmates were also doing great, and we all could pass and move on to Level 2 together as a class!

Now that we are in Level 2, I’m excited to learn more culinary techniques and also some pastry techniques. We also are going to have a lesson on wine and food costing. I’m ready to dive in, here’s goes nothing!

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