I tried out an made the student culinary competition team. What I was expecting versus what it actually was were completely different. I was expecting a room full of eager beavers like myself all gunning for the number one, or one of the five spots. I showed up at 8 a.m. ready to go. After spending a few minutes with everyone going around saying our "Hi, my name is" speeches I learned I was the highest level student trying out. Out of all seven of us. Not entirely what I expected, but what could I do? The chef announced a follow up meeting. From then, five people would be chosen. Guess how many people showed up. Automatically made the team. Again, not ideal but I'll take it. Fast forward a few weeks and team positions were made. I was the alternate and it felt like shit. I was assured this was a super important position which needed a very organized person... me. Fast forward a few more weeks. Some days people didn't show. Some days people were late. Chef was mad and understandably so. I wasn't psyched to wake up at 5 a.m. but you have to do what you have to do. Someone got kicked off the team and I was moved to the pastry position. Me. Pastry?
I bake on occasion but once upon a time I was know for only making desserts that tasted good but looked like garbage. So the pastry chef is in to teach me how to do this stuff. Stuff being chocolate & pear bread pudding with poached pears, creme anglaise sauce, and pear pistachio ice cream. Things I did wrong included the following: burning the bread, overcooking the eggs until scrambled for the creme anglaise and improperly melting chocolate to put into molds. The only thing I did consistently well was poaching the pears. Maybe because it had to do with wine? As soon as I got used to the dish, performed it well a few times, a new pastry girl comes in and takes the spot. Now I'm on the salad dish.
We were warned that if anyone was late again there would be no more team. Alright, so now we're about five weeks from competition and two of us are learning a new dish. Lucky for me it was culinary and pretty straight forward so I caught on kinda of quickly. I performed the dish well both times. On the way to the following practice, I hit a nail and got a flat tire. Awesome. I arrive at practice to find out there is no team, not due to my flat but because someone decided they weren't coming to practice. So not only was I up at 5 and consistently on time, I got a flat tire and would have to sit at the mechanic (and buy a $200 tire because it couldn't be fixed), and now, no more team. Nothing to put on my resume. But at least I have skills. And another picture.