Culinary Blog

We’re in our final three weeks of finishing our first year of culinary school, and the homestretch is in sight. A couple of my friends and I volunteered to work the senior event last weekend. The senior event is a dinner organized by the graduating class of food business majors who invite over 150 guests who are affiliated with the school to raise money for a charity. With culinary class all morning and prep for the big day all afternoon, we were pulling 15 hour days for three days in a row to get ready. But it was all worth it when the extravagant dinner ended, and we realized that this event set a record for the most money raised in one night in CIA history…

A couple of friends I made this semester were the seniors in charge of this dinner, one was the general manager, and the other was the executive chef. The two are dating, and together they make a dynamic partnership that continually produces elegant and show-stopping food and experiences. The event theme was called “Vernalia: Blooming into Spring,” and the banquet hall of the school was adorned with beautiful, delicate floral pieces hanging from the ceilings and on the tables. The charity we were raising money for is Unshattered and supports women recovering from drug addiction. The theme was meant to highlight the new beginnings these women are undertaken and the fragile strength it takes to start a new path.

I was among only two other first-year students who volunteered to help cook, and we got to work directly alongside the more experienced students who are just about finished with their culinary degrees. Watching the graduating class in all their glory was stimulating and impressive. They’re only a year ahead of us in the culinary program, but they move with such confidence and execute everything so astoundingly that it made us excited to be in their shoes and to do our senior event next year. It also made us feel proud of the progress we’ve made. Not only at this event, but every day in my classes too, I can see my classmates and me becoming more and more skilled. Our knife skills are more precise and getting faster each day, while our palettes develop with each in-depth conversation about the meals we produce. It’s interesting to seamlessly transition from joking around with your classmates like typical college students to having descriptive conversations about nuanced flavors and aromas. It’s a language we’re all practicing and slowly but surely becoming fluent in.