Culinary School: Done!

IMG_5965I’m done with culinary school. I’ve taken my last final, deep cleaned the baking and pastry kitchen, gathered all the signatures necessary for my graduation, and worn my school-issued chef pants, jacket, hat and apron for the last time. IMG_2343IMG_3908My actual graduation ceremony isn’t until June, but I’ve completed all of my classes so I’m considering my culinary school journey finished, even if I don’t have the expensive piece of paper yet. photo 3I’ve taken a long, winding road to get to where I am today. Nothing has been easy and half the time I haven’t even known what I’ve wanted to do. I’m still figuring things out, but I have a much clearer picture than I ever have before. photo 4I was a week away from my 23rd birthday when I started culinary school. My friends and family had always suggested culinary, even when I was studying exercise and sports science. I’d always argued that I’m “not cut-throat enough for culinary school” and kind of brushed it off. photo 3  photo 4I’ve been baking ever since I can remember. I have vivid memories of a friend and I making cookies in the kitchen, eating most of the dough with a spoon before it even made it to the oven. When my friends and I started our Friday Night Dinners 4 1/2 years ago, I was making dessert 99% of the time. IMG_5503When I started culinary school a year and a half ago, I didn’t know what to expect. I was thrown into two accelerated classes, getting through a nutrition class and an intro to culinary lecture class in 5 short weeks. There were 15 people in my cohort when I started and I’m the only one from that group finishing the program I enrolled in. IMG_4933Over the last year and a half I’ve learned a lot, improved both my cooking and baking skills significantly, met some great people, and got to work with and learn from some great Portland chefs (including a James Beard award winner). I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone, redefined a new comfort zone, made boxes out of chocolate and baskets out of bread. Tackled cuisines of the world, costed out recipes, and made plans for a restaurant that was so much work, I’m rethinking every thought I’ve had to open my own place. IMG_3944  IMG_4503I wouldn’t be where I am today without my parents. They were the ones who pushed me to get information and tour the school to see if it was something I was interested in. I’m the luckiest girl in the world to call them my parents. Thanks to Taylor for coming with me on the tour, watching my face light up as I heard all about it and your cheerleading. Thanks to Dustin for giving the best tour possible, answering all of our questions and helping me through the application process. To Mary, Annie and the rest of our crew scattered around the West (best) coast, thanks for your support, sweet words, and encouragement. To anyone I’ve ever made eat one of my random creations — THANK YOU! IMG_5935I’m so happy to have been able to share this journey with you and I can’t wait to see what happens next. I’ll be posting new recipes more regularly and I’m so excited for everything coming up 🙂 IMG_5754

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