Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Let's Kick This Off

Concerted look.
Welcome to Food Troll.  My name is Chris and this is part culinary school project, part personal project, and part just messing around and discussing the things that intrigue me about the culinary world and the craft.

Myself, I am an aspiring chef that has been trolling around kitchens since the age of 14 doing everything from hand scrubbing pans at a bakery to bleeding sweat on the line at various pubs and restaurants.  Food and cooking has always been a part of my life from when I used to sit in my Mother's kitchen as a boy crying about the stench of Bagna Cauda (I can tolerate it now) or helping her bake off hundreds of Biscotti.

I once thought that I wanted to teach, so in my early 20s I went to school and earned an English degree.  Within months of graduating the passion for the art died something horrific and my pen left the pad and my initial idea that I could teach someone art fizzled with the reality of the world in which we live (You can teach craft and inspire art, but teaching it and dealing with stuffy Literature types is not my gig).  The entire time through school I held odd jobs like cooking Irish food at a grimy Irish pub, tending bar at said grimy Irish pub, toiling on a line at the busiest "Upscale" Pub in the town, delivering sandwiches, managing said sandwich joint, tailoring tuxedos, working for a Congressman, and working in a psychology department.  Through it all I was always in some way affiliated with a business that provided food to the general public.

Night View of The New Culinary Institute
So, fast forward to the present and I now reside in the great flat plain of Nebraska.  After a year of trying to find a job with my all-but-useless English degree and working 60 hour weeks at the "oldest" Brew Pub in Nebraska I decided that it was time to take my life where I should have taken it ten years ago.  Enter Metropolitan Community College and their brand spanking new facilities and subtly renowned culinary program.  You say, Community College Culinary Program, pshhhh.  Well, surprisingly, this growing program is one of the best resources available in the middle of this country to pursue the culinary arts. I'll get into the school in a later post, but let's just say it has everything that one would need to gain proper training for a fraction of what it would cost to go to Johnson Wales, CIA, or like schools.

Here I stand now, just finishing my first full quarter at the Culinary Institute, and starting this little blog.  I hope to impart my experiences both in the professional kitchen I work at now, Toast, and do whatever I can at the school itself.  You'll find that I still have some of the teacher in me and I am more than willing to show the process of  recipes and dishes, the process of thought, ideation, etc. that goes into what I do.  In time, I hope this site to be a resource for home cooks, culinary students, professional chefs to entertain themselves with and possibly learn a thing or two.   Just bear with my photo taking abilities as that is something I'm learning as well.  I welcome you all to this little corner of the web and hope to engage in fruitful discussions about all things culinary.  Feel free to comment, suggest, criticize, analyze, or plain old say hi.  Try to keep it clean. I'm all for free speech but I would prefer to provide an environment where discussion, learning, and even criticism is done with some tact and respect for the individuals involved.

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