Day 20: We’re No Longer Rookies

Today’s lesson? Roasted chicken

Today is the first day of Level 2, which means a new kitchen, a new textbook, and a new assistant chef (we all will miss Chef Laura). But Chef Dominique is still our level two instructor (hooray!).

When I walked into the locker room this morning, there was a new batch of students who all had the same spark of giddiness I had on my first day. Sentences like, “I look like a dork in this uniform,” and “I ordered an XS and it’s still big on me,” were flying around, and it made me nostalgic of my first day because I know this program is going to fly by. In five months I will be back to the reality of having to go to work every day rather than learn in a classroom. Wah wah. (Can’t I be a professional student?)

Our new kitchen is practically identical to our old one—and it’s right next door too. Chef reminds us that as Level 2 students he’s really going to “give it to us” if we make stupid mistakes. Gulp.

Chef demonstrating how to remove the silver skin and fat on venison

Level 2 means we have at least one week to play with a rolling pin. And I’m psyched since I have an obsession with making dessert. But for today we made a succulent roasted chicken and seared venison.

Ricardo quartering our chicken

It was a stress-free day in the kitchen thanks to my station partner, Ricardo, who used to work in a professional kitchen in Puerto Rico. He also can never seem to remember my name. He confuses my name with another classmate’s name (Stacey). His excuse?

“You’re both white girls!”

Ricardo, Stacey is Asian. Thanks.

TIP OF THE DAY: For an awesome roasted chicken, brown each side in a heavy-bottomed saucepan before sticking it in the oven. (I also like to rub the skin with garlic to make it a fragrant roast.)

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