The new beginning - becoming a chef...

Yes. You got that title right! It turned out that dreams DO come true, sometimes when we least expect it, when we've lost all our hopes and think that it's behind us, and we will never get the opportunity, the time, nor money to realize some of our dreams or plans.

Well, it turned out that I got that chance! At this stage of my life, being over 30 years old with 2 small kids, I really have never thought that I might get a chance, might get a go at becoming a professional chef. Well, you better watch out what you're asking for, as you might get exactly that! ;)

How it all became to be, quite simply really. I've known chef Mark Doe from JustCooking cookery school for some time now, and am following his school on Facebook, where one day I've noticed a post that I just couldn't ignore... It was like a sign to me. It was an advert for Chef's newest venture - teaching people to become commis chefs, and all that for free (fully financed by the Failte Ireland) in his school, here, only about 20 minutes drive from my house! How could I not apply for something like that, how could I not send that CV and grab a "once in a life time" opportunity! So I did just that. I've sent my CV, went through an interview and.... got a place on the course! I still can't believe it! Even thought we already had few first classes just before Christmas break, I still feel like pinching myself now and again, to make sure I haven't dreamed all that...

All goes well, I shall be a commis chef by the middle of March, hopefully still with all my 10 fingers in its place ;) From basic knife skills, to making stocks, consomes, from dealing with fresh fish, seafood and butchery, from baking bread to making elaborate desserts, from making sandwiches to full dinner menus - all that will be part of the training. There's only six of us attending the course, so it feels almost like "one on one" classes, with Mark's full attention to each and everyone of us, and his accessibility - we can ask questions anytime, and we're getting very thorough answers, usually with examples to follow.

So now, I'm waiting for my "chef's whites" and can't wait to go back to school on Monday, January the 4th and... you're coming with me! I'll be posting a kind of "sum up" after each week of classes, will keep you posted as to what we covered that week and my efforts on any given subject ;) Hopefully won't burn anything, won't cut my fingers off and what's most important - won't set that kitchen on fire! ;)

Those few classes before Christmas covered all the Health & Safety in the kitchen (something that might not be very interesting, but without you can't really start working in the professional kitchen). On the cooking/baking front we've covered soup making, we've made traditional Irish soda bread, white yeast breads from scratch and learned how to make different shapes, we've learned basic knife skills and how to cut different vegetable shapes.

I'm entering this New Year full of anticipation, happiness and little bit scared, but enthusiastic!

Happy New Year to all of you, and... it's a good year for making dreams come true, so go for it! :)