Some of you already know this, but I thought I should let everyone know that today was my first day of school at Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa! A few weeks ago, I decided to follow my dream of attending culinary school, and with the help of my supportive family (especially my husband) I signed up for Basic Cuisine with the hopes of working towards the Grand Diplôme.
only that and always
and at whatever risk.
To let life leak out, to let it wear away by
the mere passage of time, to withhold
giving it and spreading it
is to choose
— Sister Helen Keller
Today was orientation for all Basic Cuisine and Pastry students, of which 30 are in Cuisine and 45 in Pastry. We learned a bit about the history of Le Cordon Bleu. It was actually started by a woman named Marthe Distel in 1895 who was the publisher of a magazine called La Cuisinière Cordon Bleu. To thank her subscribers, she invited chefs to demonstrate to readers some of the recipes published in the magazine. The demonstrations launched the cooking school.
We were introduced to the chefs and staff, and then we walked through several policies and procedures (with attendance and promptness being stressed over and over).
All the parts of the uniform were explained, including why the jacket is double-breasted (so that you can re-button it to show the clean side if you want to visit the restaurant patrons). Houndstooth pants hide any stains. Aprons are done up on the front so that they're easy to take off in case it catches on fire. Steel-toed shoes protect feet from falling knives and hats collect the sweat. (Hairnets are worn at all times.)
After some more presentations about the schedule and other administrative details, we were given a tour, our equipment and uniforms.
Finally, I made sure to sample as many of the "viennoiseries" that I could, including two types of muffins, a sunny-side up apricot pastry, a croissant, a lemon poppy-seed loaf and some fruit. All were tasty, as expected.
Now, I must iron my uniform and get ready for tomorrow. Stay tuned...
"It is your soul's duty to be loyal to your desires."
— Rebecca West