Finally, it came! My first day of Matthew Kenney Culinary School. The night before, I prepared my uniform coat, cap, apron and organized my camera and lenses for a day full of new exciting knowledge and new friends.
5am I am up and ready, having my coconut yogurt with sprouted granola and organic peach and I’m off to my bus, which takes me to sunny Santa Monica. That’s when the butterflies in my stomach kicked in, I had waited for this day so long and I had no idea what to expect. As a nerdy student of course I arrived an hour early just to be safe.
10 minutes before class starts I enter with a smile bright as my chef’s coat. I explored around the bright, wholesome, fresh-smelling kitchen with healthy, positive students and teachers. Suddenly my nervousness was gone, I knew, this is where I belong.
Our advisor, Chef Megan, ran us through the rules and regulations, then asked us to introduce ourselves and briefly explain why we decided to join Matthew Kenney Cuisine. It was incredibly interesting to see all these students from all around the world, who were at different points in their lives and were all led here by their passion for healthy food – a passion strong enough to make a person change their whole life.
The first day was all about the kitchen environment, to identify how a professional kitchen looks like and how we have to behave in it. With all this information I quickly realized, yes I’m in school and it’s going to be hard work, but I am incredibly excited.Following the introduction to our work area, we had an early Christmas. Our chef Santa gave us our very own highly professional personal knife. My heart was beating so fast, it might be silly but I looked at the knife as my first step of becoming a real raw chef.
Our chef instructors explained that the next two weeks would be reserved every morning for getting our knife skills perfect. Practice, practice, practice! Last, but not least, they explained mise en place – everything in its place. This will be our way of life as chefs. Everything organized, clean, everything where you need it and when you need it.
Our day went by very fast, and let me tell you, I am not use to standing non stop for 6 hours at all, but it’s just another thing to embrace. Some of the students went for a healthy lunch; I ordered the most amazing kale salad with sweet potato, macadamia dressing, avocado and chickpeas. I felt great talking with a group of people who actually knew what dehydrating is or what cold pressed juice is all about.
As I arrived home, I took a minute to sit down and soak it all in. Even though my feet were aching I started creating dinner in the kitchen. After dinner I started reading and organizing my notes. To become a raw food chef, I had to master the art of wholesome organized chaos. Mise en place, I got this.