• 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!!!!!

Part one of the practical. In 20 minutes, turn this......
Part one of the practical. In 20 minutes, turn this……
......into this!
……into this!

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.

Terrence and Spencer acing an exam!
Terrence and Spencer acing an exam!
Celebration time! The practical is over!
Celebration time! The practical is over!

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.

One sad part of the day. We said goodbye to Tim and Josue, who are continuing but are moving to the night class
One sad part of the day. We said goodbye to Tim and Josue, who are continuing but are moving to the night class

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.