- Always bring a pen to exam day (nudge nudge Erik)
- Roses are now bred with no/reduced thorns, but these roses have very little scent. You have to use roses from the Middle East / Turkey to smell the real scent of a rose, and to properly infuse a rose taste into food.
- Seedless watermelons are not GMO
- The original corn, pre-cross breeding and gmo, used to grow to just 3 feet tall
We made it!!!!!!! The much dreaded triple-witching-hour day is over, and we passed!!!!!
FIRST EXAM: Our first exam was the practical, which started with having to emincer and ciseler an onion, ciseler a shallot, jardiniere a turnip, and julienne a carrot. I can’t believe how my heart was racing during this first 20 minutes. I don’t think I looked up once but methodically but panically(?) worked through each element. “Knives down!!!” I had just finished my last item. We had to leave our ID badges by our cutting boards and leave the kitchen until we were scored. Then it was cocotting a potato (but only into 4 cocottes), and then turning an artichoke. I felt ok about the shapes of my cocottes. Turns out I got a 10/10 for the cocottes but a 0/10 for not putting my trimmings in a water bowl. Next we had 20min to make a tomato fondue, which compared to the stress of the first two section seemed a bit casual. At times, you just had to wait for your tomato sauce to reduce – almost relaxing. I had mixed feeling about my score for this practical. I got very high marks for all the final results, but got dinged severely for some more mechanical things. Oh well.
SECOND EXAM: The written comprehensive – This turned out to be much easier than any of us was anticipating. In theory, we had to know the entire level 1 book (356 pages), but we ended up having to know the most important principles, a few key technical questions, and one obscure protein denaturing aspect which I think prevented many of us from getting perfect.
THIRD EXAM: After a lunch (jerk chicken – yum), we went back to the kitchen for our ServSafe exam, on which I did NOT do well. My only hope on this one is that the questions I got wrong were the test question they imbedded that don’t count – but I don’t think so. Oh well. This exam doesn’t count towards our ICC grade. We had a brief lecture on GMO foods where Chef Bauer recommended we check out a TED talk called And How I Fell In Love With A Fish. This lecture touched on some interesting topics – can’t wait to dig into this area a bit further.
Chef V had our final marks in the computer by the end of the day (fastest turnaround e-v-e-r!). So far I’m averaging an A, so I was pretty happy. A big thank you again to Chef Veronica and Chef Joe for getting us this far. But today we also got a hint of what is to come. Our instructor for Level, 2 Chef Jeff, ‘met’ us in the hall and very straightforwardly told us to have not only Monday’s recipes fully written out on index cards but Tuesday’s as well. I think we’re in for a bit of a wake-up call. Congrats everyone!!! Several of us were talking over beers and all agreed: WE HAVE A GREAT CLASS. Here we come Level 2.