Level four at the International Culinary Center is very different from the first three. To start, the class is divided in half (my particular class has 6 people on each team, 12 total). The class is also divided between family meal and buffet. When you are in charge of making family meal, you cook lunch for the entire student and faculty population. Then half way through level four you switch to buffet, and you learn about charcuterie, buffet preparation, and you actually produce two buffets for the school. No matter which team you’re on and what food you’re in charge of, level four can be very daunting!
The last day of level three I learned that I would be doing family meal first, and I honestly was very nervous. That much food for the entire school, plus only five people to help…that’s a lot of work! But we dove right in and started working, getting our first family meal out for 300 people by 11:30 am. When you put your head down and whole heart into something, it’s amazing what you can produce! In the end, I really enjoyed family meal because it was the first time in culinary school that I felt like I was working in a professional kitchen. My goal at the end of all this is to work in a restaurant kitchen as a professional chef, so any time I gain experience doing this I’m one happy girl.
The second half of level four I was preparing the Grand Buffet. We made quite the spread with everything from roasted lamb to duck confit (a total of 30 dishes made the final buffet presentation). After completing both family meal and buffet, I can safely say that this level has been my favorite!