1. I don’t care who you are, how “perky” you are in the morning or you’re just “one of those morning people”, when your class starts at 6, you will drink caffiene. I wake up between 3:45 to 4:00 am Monday through Thursday and even I, who is not a big caffiene consumer, have been consuming it like it’s my job. Especially when I have to work the night before. Then it’s an essential part of the morning.
2. Culinary school is not the time to be squeemish. When a chef plunks down a giant beef leg in front of you, you don’t think about how gross it looks, but appricieate how lucky you are that you have the opportunity to cut up a whole, fresh beef round. I got sprayed in the face with lobster water, and we’re talking like my entire face and neck, soaking with lobster. I walked out of the room, washed my face in the sink, and then continued to harvest meat from lobsters.
3. Ironing is something you’ll become very good at. I have to iron my coat, pants and apron for every class. Luckily, I have three coats and two pairs of pants so there’s only one night where I have to re iron my coat. Starch is your friend. Also, hanging coats in the bathroom while I shower has been super effective. The steam helps release some of the tougher wrinkles. Finally, ironing coats and pants while slightly damp make a world of difference.
4. You will cut yourself. And burn yourself. It’s just a matter of when. I haven’t severely burned myself yet, but there have been a few close calls. I have definitely nicked myself a number of times and had to wear a “finger condom.” No severe cuts yet though. Hoping to avoid that.
5. Chef’s coats and pants are not unisex. I have the smallest size pants and jacket and I still feel like I’m swimming in the pants. You want to look completely unflattering? All you have to do is put on a pair of chef’s pants. The ironic things is that they’re so comfortable too. It’s the only time I have an excuse to wear an elastic waist lined pant in public and not be ridiculed for it!
6. Don’t be part of the clean plate club. Be part of the “semi-clean” plate club. Just because you get to sit in the dining room and be served other student’s food, doesn’t mean you have to eat all of it. If you had seen how much butter I cooked with in two weeks, then you wouldn’t eat it either. Maybe you would…butter does make everything taste better. Later in the day though, you will hate yourself and start to feel weighted down. At first, I was eating most of my dining room food, but then I got smart and started bringing my own snacks to eat during class.