Asian Greek Pasta

July 23, 2009 at 6:27 PM 3 comments

P1000776

P1000783

In continuation of my last entry, and careful consideration after touring each culinary facility, I have decided to apply to the French Culinary Institute.  It’s a 9 month evening program consisting of M/W/F classes starting in mid-November.  It’s official in a sense that I’ve already received the nod of approval from my manager at the office.  I’ll have to leave the office early those three days at 5pm.  Everyone seems to be really supportive, which makes me appreciate the team I work with on a daily basis.
FCI seem to be extremely organized in the adminission process and have an amazing support system.  Once you become a student, you have access to their resources for life.  The career services center has been really helpful and available for me whenever I needed them.  The tour lasted approximately 2 hours strolling along between their portait filled walls of celebrity chef alumni such as Momofuku’s David Chang, WD-50′s Wylie Dufresne and Sam Mason, Food Network’s Bobby Flay, and program directors Jacques Pepin and Jacques Torres (just to name a few). I had a chance to sample some of the best morsal of chocolate/carmel/nut goodness I’ve ever had in my life.  And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better than the loads of baguettes I’ve smuggled home from LA (long story).  We peaked into the bakery where some of the students who came in at 2am would start creating one of the best baguettes I’ve ever bit into.  It was moist and airy inside with a nice crackly crust on the outside.  That said, I was thorougly impressed.  The resources that FCI has to offer are astonishing.  The fact that they offer an online account for students to contact the above mentioned chefs (and then some) directly via personal email, is priceless.
And although I was sold at FCI, I still did not want to sell myself short of other possibilities.  FCI’s immediate competitor would have to be The Institute of Culinary Education, who recently won an IACP award for best culinary program in 2008.  Both schools have had plenty of recognition and awards so I’m not worried about FCI’s credentials in the least.  To sum up the brief tour (all of 15 minutes) for all four floors, I was not impressed.  Yes, their tuition is approximately $12,000 less, but I’ve decided to not go the less expensive approach in life this time.  I’ve learned in the past – “you get what you pay for”.  The tour guide was quick and unapproachable, which meant, he just wanted to get it over with and not have to answer any redundant questions.  There was no free baguette nor chocolate sample in hand, but a folder packed with tuition/loan information.  He was not thorough in explaining the programs and opportunities the school had to offer.  I was also not comfortable with a couple of questions in their application.  It asked, “How long have you been thinking about a culinary career?”, and “How serious are you about attending culinary school?”.  Is the latter question used for gauging how serious they should take their potential students or how much of an effort they should put into a tour?
What is it that I want to achieve after culinary school you ask?  Well, I would love to get my hands on food styling for various forms of media (movies, TV, periodicals, etc.) or work in a test kitchen for Cook’s Illustrated.  I would prefer not to work in a restaurant, but it may become a possibility if the experience is needed in order build my portfolio for a private chef  career.  I also wouldn’t mind being a chef instructor either.  Oh the possibilities are endless!  Perhaps in a couple of years, I’d also like to take a few courses at the International Center of Photography to perfect my passion for food photography. Here’s another success story of an FCI alumni I just happen to run into online while browsing the Yelp website [http://www.yelp.com/biz/yum-yum-chefs-brooklyn]:   http://www.yumyumchefs.com/chefs/vanessa_cantave.html.  For now though, I’m going to see where my interests lie as the classes progress.
When it comes to establishing a reputation in the culinary world, there seems to be a sense of comraderie amongst food lovers/chefs that I just absolutely love.  Yes, it is a competitive field, but what isn’t competitive in New York?  Just the lifestyle in New York is competitive.  I think I just might have this one in the bag, folks.  All of this is starting to sound all too familiar.  :)[http://www.apple.com/trailers/sony_pictures/julieandjulia/].
My recipe for this week calls for a quick-fix after a long day at work and wanting to put a few ingredients together from the fridge/pantry in about half an hour.
Ingredients:
1 pkg of whole wheat penne pasta (boiled/drained)
1 broccoli spear (blanched 1/2 inch chunks of flowers/stems)
1/2 feta cheese
1/2 sliced yellow onion
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper
2 tbs  soy sauce
1 tbs vegetable oil
Directions:
Cook onion until translucent.  Add cooked pasta and broccoli.  Then pour in all seasonings while stiring on high heat.  Let pasta brown a bit until a bit crispy.  Remove from heat and stir in feta cheese crumbles.

In continuation of my last entry, and careful consideration after touring each culinary facility, I have decided to apply to the French Culinary Institute.  It’s a 9 month evening program consisting of M/W/F classes starting in mid-November.  It’s official in a sense that I’ve already received the nod of approval from my manager at the office.  I’ll have to leave the office early those three days at 5pm.  Everyone seems to be really supportive, which makes me appreciate the team I work with on a daily basis.

FCI seems to be extremely organized in the adminission process and has an amazing support system.  Once you become a student, you have access to their resources for life.  The career services center has been really helpful and available to me whenever I need them.  The tour lasted approximately 2 hours strolling along between their portait filled walls of celebrity chef alumni such as Momofuku’s David Chang, WD-50′s Wylie Dufresne and Sam Mason, Food Network’s Bobby Flay, and culinary/pastry program directors Jacques Pepin and Jacques Torres (just to name a few). I had a chance to sample some of the best morsals of chocolate/carmel/nut goodness I’ve ever had in my life.  And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better than the loads of baguettes I’ve smuggled home from LA (long story), we peaked into the bakery where some of the students who came in at 2am would start creating one of the best baguettes I’ve ever bit into.  It was moist and airy inside with a nice crackly crust.  That said, I was thorougly impressed.  The resources that FCI has to offer are astonishing.  The fact that they offer an online account for students to contact the above mentioned chefs (and then some) directly via personal email, is priceless.

And although I was sold at FCI, I still did not want to sell myself short of other possibilities.  FCI’s immediate competitor would have to be The Institute of Culinary Education, who recently won an IACP award for best culinary program in 2008.  Both schools have had plenty of recognition and awards so I’m not worried about FCI’s credentials in the least.  To sum up the brief tour (all of 15 minutes) for all four floors, I was not impressed.  Yes, their tuition is approximately $12,000 less, but I’ve decided to not go the less expensive approach in life this time.  I’ve learned in the past – “you get what you pay for”.  The tour guide was quick and unapproachable, which meant, he just wanted to get it over with and not have to answer any redundant questions.  There was no free baguette nor chocolate sample in hand, but a folder packed with tuition/loan information.  He was not thorough in explaining the programs and opportunities the school had to offer.  I was also not comfortable with a couple of questions in their application.  It asked, “How long have you been thinking about a culinary career?”, and “How serious are you about attending culinary school?”.  Is the latter question used for gauging how serious they should take their potential students or how much of an effort they should put into a tour?

What is it that I want to achieve after culinary school you ask?  Well, I would love to get my hands on food styling for various forms of media (movies, TV, periodicals, etc.) or work in a test kitchen for Cook’s Illustrated.  I would prefer not to work in a restaurant, but it may become a possibility if the experience is needed in order build my portfolio for a private chef  career.  I also wouldn’t mind being a chef instructor.  Oh the possibilities are endless!  Perhaps in a couple of years, I’d also like to take a few courses at the International Center of Photography to perfect my passion for food photography. Here’s another success story of an FCI alumni I just happen to run into online while browsing the Yelp website:   YumYumChefs.  For now though, I’m going to see where my interests lie as the classes progress.

When it comes to establishing a reputation in the culinary world, there seems to be a sense of comraderie amongst food lovers/chefs that I just absolutely love.  Yes, it is a competitive field, but what isn’t competitive in New York?  Just the lifestyle in New York is competitive.  I think I just might have this one in the bag, folks.  All of this is starting to sound all too familiar.  :)

My recipe for this week calls for a quick-fix after a long day at work and wanting to put a few ingredients together from the fridge/pantry in about half an hour.

Ingredients:

1 pkg of whole wheat penne pasta (boiled/drained)

1 broccoli spear (blanched 1/2 inch chunks of flowers/stems)

1/2 feta cheese

1/2 sliced yellow onion

1 tbs garlic powder

1 tsp crushed red pepper

2 tbs  soy sauce

1 tbs vegetable oil

Directions:

Cook onion until translucent.  Add cooked pasta and broccoli.  Then pour in all seasonings while stiring on high heat.  Let pasta brown a bit until a bit crispy.  Remove from heat and stir in feta cheese crumbles.

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Entry filed under: Dinner, Entrees, Side Dishes, Tofu/Vegetables. Tags: .

Rustic Beet Soup Mashed Parsnips w/ Cucumber Oolong Tea

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. lala blossoms  |  July 23, 2009 at 7:27 PM

    ok i’m gonna have to not be a loser and try this recipe out. but what is blanched and why garlic powder instead of fresh??? i’m a little afraid of mixing anything asian with cheese, but this seems so simple.

    Reply
  • 2. lala blossoms  |  July 23, 2009 at 7:27 PM

    i’m just typing this because i forgot to click “notify of udates” haha.

    Reply
  • 3. kami o'brien  |  July 26, 2009 at 12:30 AM

    I couldn’t be happier for you Jane! Keep me updated!

    Reply

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