Follow along my journey for the past 4 months of going to culinary school!
I’ve been meaning to write this post for the past three weeks and look at that! It finally happened! Not bad at all for me being the awful procrastinator I am.
So let’s talk, guys! About all things culinary school. The thing I’ve been focusing about 110% of my energy on for the past four months. Grab your coffee and get comfortable because I’ve got lots of rambling to do.
Let’s start at the beginning. Guys, I know I’ve mentioned it before millions of times, but I’ll say it again. I freaking love food. I thrive on being in the kitchen. It’s my sanctuary and more recently in the past few years has become a major part of my life.
Going to culinary school was definitely not something I’ve been planning to do my whole life. In fact, when I was thirteen, believe it or not, I was seriously set on going to performing arts school to become a dancer and I was training daily to do just that.
And then…it was totally random and out of blue but when I was 16, several things started pointing me in the direction of food. By that time I was preparing all the meals for my family, since both my parents were working, and I was actually enjoying it. It was also around that time that I was NOT dancing, due to an ankle injury that put me out of dance for nearly three months. Believe it or not that was ALSO the same time I started Whole and Heavenly Oven!
That time off training and sitting on my butt for months gave me lots of time to reconsider what I wanted to do with my life. As much as I loved dance, I couldn’t ignore the simple fact that dance careers are extremely hard on a person. Both physically and mentally. I decided I didn’t want that stress in my life and wanted to focus on something that would make me happy.
Enter cooking. It was the only other hobby in my life that I had gradually learned to love as much as dancing. I started researching tons of culinary schools in our southern Wisconsin area, visited two, and ended up deciding on the culinary program at Blackhawk Technical College, which is conveniently only a 30-minute drive from my hometown! I applied last February and was accepted nearly a month later.
So now that I’m done telling you my life story…I have tons to tell you about my first semester at BTC! A lot of people are asking me if I love it so far? If it’s everything I expected it to be? Is it a lot of hard work?
Yes, kinda, and yes. I absolutely loved my first semester, it was a lot how I thought it would be with a few surprises, and yes, thank you for asking, it was a lot of work going to school full-time, keeping up with homework, AND managing blogging at the same time! Good thing I thrive on a busy schedule.
First off, you’re probably wondering how I looked when I was in the kitchen. Cover your eyes or at least let me cover them for you…
Moving along past that…let’s see. What else?
Yes, I did get a few cuts and burns, and a reaaaally nasty cut in particular that happened while slicing carrots for a soup. No biggie though, since I injure myself pretty much on a daily basis in my own kitchen.
Oh, and just in case any of you were wondering, surprisingly I did NOT gain any weight this past semester. I’ve heard many horror stories from people who gain so much weight during culinary school and I desperately hoped that wouldn’t happen to me. So far so good! Being on my feet in the kitchen for so many hours and on the go every day definitely helped and I even LOST two pounds!
Alrighty, onto the REAL reason you’re here. You want to see the food! Oh gosh, guys. THE FOOD! So much amazing food this past semester my mind is kinda blown. I took so many pictures, blew up your Instagram feed (sorry!) and tasted pretty much everything.
Also…please ignore the ugly photos. The lighting in a kitchen is totally the worst.
See a few (read: 1 million) of my favorite highlights below…
(stuffed oysters and teriyaki salmon)
(cream of sweet potato soup–I shared the recipe here.)
(Grain day! Homemade polenta, rice pilaf, mashed potatoes, and risotto)
Warning: Homemade mayonnaise by hand may result in your arms falling off from exhaustion.
(beef soup with homemade pasta)
I swear, homemade gnocchi will.be.the.death.of.me.
(seafood salad and homemade potato chips)
This chocolate bread pudding was absolutely evil and so was the bourbon sauce he came with.
(french onion soup)
(grilled flank steak, brussels sprouts, and duchess potatoes)
(lamb chops with mint pesto, butternut squash risotto and apricot maple green beans)
(roasted red pepper goat cheese bruschetta)
We had a Pizza Wars contest and guess what? I won with this sundried tomato pesto, kale, and goat cheese pizza!
I also rolled in at third place for Soup Wars with this pumpkin sausage chili!
Above was attempt #1 at a pretty soup swirl. #nailedit
Attempt #2 was a little bit better. 😉
The culinary students all helped out with a fancy supper club dinner around Thanksgiving. And everyone got some pretty fabulous leftovers afterwards. 😉
(brownie dessert parfaits)
(homemade gnocchi, seared duck breast, and mushroom green beans)
We had one day solely devoted to carving fruit! I could carve tulip carrots in my sleep now. 😉
Not gonna lie, guys, I was a little scared of sushi day, but sushi is actually super fun to make! And oh gosh, it was actually SO good. 😉
(homemade dinner rolls)
Okay, I’ll stop bombarding you with food now. There’s tons more stuff we made throughout the semester that I forgot to take pictures of, probably because I was stuffing my face.
Anyway. Friends, that’s pretty much it for now. My second semester starts in less than 2 weeks and already super-excited to get back to it! Thank you all from the bottom of my sappy heart for the support and encouragement you’ve given me over the past few months.
See you tomorrow with more food! ???