Chef Day 7

Well, the demos started today! It’s almost as if we are going into final exams or something with all of the stress levels going.  Everyone who went today did very well, and there were triumphs as well as learning experiences.  One thing that I am working on is not being stressed for other people.  Whenever anyone is doing something that I consider stressful, like public speaking or presenting or anything like that, I get really nervous and start worrying over small mistakes and such.  But I realized that they are already stressing enough! I am already stressing enough over my presentation! This extra worrying is just wasteful.  Plus, I should really be able to enjoy my time not presenting, and just worry right before it like a normal person.  I think I am getting better though, overall the trend is of optimistic upward growth.

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Pizza from the marinara sauce side

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Pizza from the pesto side
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Minestrone Italiano

 

We were able to get some hands on some food today, which I was happy about! We made our dinner of a Minestrone soup and a garden pizza. They were surprisingly easy and fun to make, and they are dishes that I definitely want to make at home! The pizza was crunchy but delicious, and the soup was hardy and refreshing all at the same time.  I ate until I was quite full, but I didn’t feel weighed down like I had just eaten a heavy meal.  I find that quality very attractive in food, I must admit.

The day wasn’t quite exhausting, which was also nice and refreshing.  I did read Wendy’s introduction today, and I felt really confident and not nervous at all while giving it.  I think that might be a first for me! Tomorrow I will be assisting a demo, so I will be able to be back behind the demo table without actually giving one.  Hopefully it’ll be a good introduction for me and I’ll be able to get used to being up there a bit more.  We’ll see!

Three things that I learned today:

  1. Minestrone in italian literally means “big soup”
  2. I don’t hide my feelings very well
  3. Tomato juice makes a wonderful raw soup base.  And you can seed tomatoes using a tomato shark.  Who knew?? That saves me so much time and effort!

Anyways, I hope you all have a wonderful day and can realize and see the little triumphs in life.  They make all the difference and keep us moving forward.

Love,
Lucy

Chef Day 6: The Start of Week 2

This week started the week of The Demos, where all of the students give a 15 or 20 minute demonstration of a randomly assigned recipe.  It is a really big deal because no one has done it and it is basically like doing a complicated presentation.  But hopefully better… Anyways, today was somewhat boring because it was just spent in preparation for the upcoming week. A plus was that they did serve fruit to us all day, and I realized how much I miss it.  I think I need to eat it more often because every time I get close to fruit now I can’t stop eating it…

I got my Mise En Place, which is what they call getting all of your ingredients in one place, and now I will just have to prep it in the couple days before my demo on Thursday.  That was most of the excitement for today.

I couldn’t quite get my hair to be tame (for the first time in my life I think) but there we go!

I got the pictures for my appetizer and my pasta that I did last Thursday and yesterday, so here are some of the good pictures!

Zucchini Hummus!
Pasta with pesto

Three things I learned:

  1. You can be productive in a study group, while still laughing your butt off and having a good time.  I got together with Becky and Wendy to go over a review sheet for our final test on friday, and we got through the entire thing!
  2. You need to stand up for yourself sometimes.  Don’t let someone manipulate you when you know that it isn’t quite right.
  3. I do a lot of dishes.  Even for the people here in school who have to wash dishes too–I do more than a lot of others sometimes.  I kind of like it though, it’s very therapeutic.

Anyways, the excitement will continue tomorrow, sorry for the boring post, but I might as well just say that it happened, right? I hope you all listen to your gut because it is right so much of the time.  This is something I still work on and struggle with, so there is one place for improvement! Have a wonderful day! As always,

Love,
Lucy

Food Styling

What a great day! Today was a one day course on food styling, and it was so much more relaxing and fun compared to all of the other classes.  Not that the other classes aren’t fun, because they really are, but today was a really chill day where we got to learn about how to make food look good.  And then we basically had all the time in the world to set up some of our own shots.  So basically, I was able to get creative and have fun with my camera and not worry about having a dish done by a certain time.  Plus, I got to learn a lot of cool tricks that professional stylists use (I will never look at a picture of a bowl of soup the same again!) 

In the morning, we got an introduction to food staying, and talked about the important concepts and tools used.  Then we learned how to plate a salad and a sandwich, and then got to get our hands dirty.  Who knew crisco could be an ingredient of something so innocent? It acted as the base for the lettuce, so even though it might look good, this food is mostly not edible. In fact, I did feel pretty wasteful most of the time.  Here are some of my favorite shots though!

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In the afternoon, we talked about actually taking pictures with your camera and also blogs and whatnot.  It was really exciting for me, because the longer I did this, the more I wanted to do it. This makes me really want to try to take my blog to the next level and make it a really good food blog, and try to do it as a job. Who knows if I will get there (thanks for those following now, because you give me hope!) We also got to plate some soup and some pasta.  The soup blew my mind with the techniques that stylists use (shh, I think I have to keep it a secret…) to make everything look good and keep still.  I was able to shoot my pasta dish up on the really good camera Living Light uses, and it was really cool to see it up on the big screen! I still took some pictures afterwards with all of the cool props they had laid out for other people’s use…

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I definitely put more effort into the pasta cause I knew that was going to be shot by a photographer who knew what she was doing haha. I also had more fun taking pictures and couldn’t pick the best few…

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Three things I learned today:

  1. I like food styling! It is like art with food–you even use paint brushes! 
  2. The food used in food styling is quite inedible (especially anything done professionally).  Just today, as a beginner, I used cotton balls and vaseline in my food (I bet you can’t tell where!), but people use hairspray, glycerin, and a lot of crazy stuff…
  3. Potatoes are a key ingredient of styling any soup.  that or agar agar. 

 

Tomorrow starts my last week of Living Light, and I am kind of sad and hope it goes slow.  Especially because I don’t want my demo to come yet! Anyways, I hope everyone had a lovely day, and took the time to really put your effort into something you enjoy.  Even if it means taking a couple extra minutes making your breakfast or cleaning up something for yourself, or taking a short walk outside to enjoy the weather. 

Love,
Lucy