If you promise not to tell anyone I've got a secret to share with you ............ promise? .............okay, I'm trusting you ..........
............. I have terrible hair! Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, I look like a rooster because my hair sticks straight up out of my head. I've been known to look in the mirror first thing in the morning and start cock-a-doodle-dooing! I'm serious. I can get it to look fairly decent, but it takes a lot of coaxing and it doesn't stay put very well. My kids laugh at me cause I need a bunch of hairspray for it to stay somewhat acceptable. So....... I don't wear hats, even if it's very cold, only if it's freeeeeeeezing. I'm just kind of funny about my hair.
So there you have it, one of my secrets that I try to keep to myself. I'm telling you this because this week has been different. I've had to wear a hat all week and I haven't even cared about my hair, haven't even cared that I've looked like a pancake in front of all sorts of people when I've taken it off!
Do you want to know why?
It's because I've been wearing a CHEF's hat all week .............. a real chef's hat! I've been studying French cooking at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York at one of their week long Boot Camps. One of the requirements for students in this program is a uniform which consists of a traditional white chef's coat along with black and white houndstooth checked pants and a tall pleated chef's hat. It's been a dream-come-true for me to be here and the hat has been ............ well, it's been kind of a badge of honor for me ............. irregardless of "the hair"! :) So there you know my secret ............ but remember, you promised not to tell anyone!
Seriously, it's been a wonderful week that has sped by like lightening - I can't believe that tomorrow is the last day and I'll be packing up my white jackets, checked pants and tall white hats and saying (sadly) au revoir to the CIA. At the same time, I'm excited because my husband/photographer joined me today and tomorrow we head down the Hudson River to New York City where he'll studying food photography and styling at ICE - the Institute of Culinary Education.
We've been apart all week so I'm going to make this post short, but I did want to share a few pictures with you from the day. We studied the geography and culture and agriculture of Central France, Bordeaux, Gascony & Basque Country along with Languedoc-Rousillon today and cooked traditional foods from these regions. My cooking partner, Kenneth and I prepared Omelette á la Basquaise (omelets filled with a roasted red pepper mixture), Gigot á la Solognote (roasted leg of lamb), Aligot (potato, garlic and cheese purée),
and Carottes Glacés (glazed carrots). The two other teams prepared an equally ambitious menu so lunch was one again, truly and epicurean delight!
P.S. I learned to make the perfect French omelet today. The first five I was horrible at but by the time I got to 9 or 10 they were looking quite acceptable! BRAVO to me!
A few scenes from the kitchen today ........
|Jeff, Beverly and Maria all looking (and cooking!) like pros.|
|Why is it that when Chef Bruno demonstrate the perfect French omelet it looks making omelets is a piece of cake but when I try it, it takes me five floopers before I get one right ............... not perfect but acceptable.......|
|Miranda (left) was another of our assistants today. She's a student here at the CIA. She was invaluable today, in fact without her, we'd probably still be the kitchen!|
|A demonstration on cutting onions the "French" way. Why didn't I think of this, it makes so much sense.|
|I don't know about you but I wouldn't mind any of these cute young fellows cooking dinner for me. These are a few of the professional CIA students on break. They all seem to love what they're doing!|
|All done for the day, very tired still grinning like a you-know-what. See you tomorrow! Au revoir!|