Almost through week number two. Tomorrow is Friday and we have our first test in Italian language class. For myeslf and the two other advanced students that means we must recite an Italian cuisine recipe in Italian. Something I have done in college classes but still very annoying.
Most of this week in the kitchen we have been learning about things that are going to be on our Serve Safe exam. This is the test about kitchen health standards and regulations, a test we must pass to be able to serve food in New York...so they say. It's all pretty much common food sense like that you can't use the same tools to prepare raw fish as you do salad greens. The best part of this week though, was finally getting into some real cooking. On Tuesday we made our own fresh ricotta and mozzarella cheeses. They turned out delicious and I definitely took a few balls of mozzarella over to my sisters apartment as payment for a free couch. We also had a woman come into speak to us who is one of the largest importers of authentic Italian artisnal cheeses in the country. She was very tranquil and knowledgable about her products and knew most of the producers personally and had herself seen each cheese's production process. She brought ten different and delicious cheeses for us to sample before returning to the days work of cheesemaking.
Today was my favorite day in the kitchen so far. We sill had Chef Guido lecturing us about Serve Safe for part of the lesson, but today was our first full day in the kitchen. And today was seafood anitpasto day! We made tuna tartar, pesce crudo, octopus terrine, we shucked oysters and clams, and had the opportunity to present to Chef Jessica Botto (our co-instructor) and Chef Guido our unique takes on a Himachi pesce crudo. It was freakin' awesome!! Not only did I have a praised tuna tartar (minus needing a little less acid) but my pesce crudo was my first home run. I watched most of my classmates struggle to execute their ideas for a dish and mine not only looked clean, symmetrical, and had beautiful color contrast It also tasted pretty darn good and Chef Guido called it cute, interesting, and tasty.
I've got to admit, besides feeling like I'm about to get sick, I feel like a million bucks. I am doing something I love to do, I'm doing well at it, I'm living a dream, I'm going to Italy soon, I have a great man, and, what else for a girl ask for?