>Culinary School, Long at LAST

>So what ever happened to Emi and culinary school?

After deferring from the CIA, I spent the last three years working. The previous position, an event-planner-catch-all of sorts for a rather large consulting firm–think running all office wide events, promotion dinners, and creating the food club which now is in their London office ::preen::. Having been hired for administrative work, it seemed only natural that my administrative position quickly shifted into the food realm. CIA deferment expired, new lease signed, new boyfriend, and price comparison finished, it only made sense to continue what I started by attending culinary school. This time, the CCA; Cordon Bleu’s Bay Area School.

It’s exhilarating being elbow deep in learning all things food. I’ve been there since November and already classes are just flying by–skills 1, butchery and now kitchen math. With my camera back in commission, I’ll try to be a bit better about posting. 🙂 For now, a few photos to catch you up and how about a “What’s my Story” Essay per School Scholarship Requirements.

It is a bit of a dichotomy
that my Japanese Grandmother, ‘Oma’ and my German Great Grandmother,
‘Grandma G’, were two that taught me my love for food. My Oma, had imparted
her travel history through her daughter, my mother, Mari’s repertoire
of recipes. This oddity is not just because we phonetically referred
to my Japanese Grandmother as Grandma in German; it is that I never
directly learned to cook from her. Instead, reasoning, knowledge &
love for world cuisine manifested itself in my life through three people
and their travels: my mother (Oma’s daughter), my father (Grandma G’s
grandson), and of course, Grandma G, all 5 ft 8 inches of herself.

“Now your Oma would have served this just in Winter..”, my
mother would say as she placed a steaming bowl of Oden, Japanese fish
cake soup, in front of me–Seasons often dictated what we had at home.
My father’s lamb with mint currant sauce in the Spring; Summer brought
my mom’s cold noodle salad,’Chukah Soba’, and in the Fall, Grandma G’s
apple pie. These traditions, new and old came from a conglomeration
of what’s been passed down, to the travels of my mother and grandmother;
both my mother and her mother, Oma, married men who worked in companies
that placed them abroad. The UAE, England, France, and Singapore are
just four countries that the both of them lived in while married to
their transient husbands. Consequently, my sister and I too lived in
several countries before the age of five.

In Singapore, whilst my mom learned how to make a proper satee chicken,
I played with my friend, Karen tying her hair up in to tens of rubber
bands. Earlier, at age three, Abu Dhabi pool side, I formulated a penchant
for beer–going around asking lounging club members for beer. When we
lived in Paris, we would stop by our neighborhood bakery for our daily
baguette on our way home from preschool; and while walking, I would
hollow out the baguette, much to the amusement and dismay of my parents.
From Paris, on a first class flight, I tried to order caviar; we were
on our way home to the States to live with my grandparents in Kansas,
where at a ChiChi’s Mexican restaurant I tried to order escargot. My
family, and consequently then myself, learned to appreciate cuisines
of the world as a way to assimilate ourselves into each culture. The
product is a palate and appreciation for each culture’s cuisine in both
me and my sister.

Which brings us back now to my home in San Francisco. It really is
no wonder that I have a penchant for world cuisine. Being bi-racial
and having lived in six countries before the age of five, I have found
my comfort and identity through the accessibility of world cuisine.
It is my ‘home’ and in most ways, my identity. As I write, I am eyeing
my lamb curry, basmati rice and tandoori chicken cooking on the stove.
My boyfriend, Fayvor is helping me, ever patient in taking instruction,
by allowing time for me to type here. We both know how much culinary
school is costing us both financially and time-wise. However, with cornerstones
of each of our histories, and our accumulated knowledge in hand we aspire
to move to the country-side and run and bed and breakfast or restaurant
some day.

The CCA has been a remarkable source of information. To finally know
the science behind emulsification and baking soda, and how to bone out
a yoke of lamb; I have taken home what I’ve learned in school and imparted
my knowledge into our cooking at home, to friends at dinner parties,
at outings to collect oysters, and not to mention, to Fayvor, who has
heard and learned through my recounting interesting discoveries at school.
While enrolled at the CCA I aspire to create the groundwork for my future
endeavors. Not only to know how to run and maintain a successful self-sustaining
bed and breakfast, but to pass on knowledge of how to maintain a self-sustaining
lifestyle to our children. It is for these reasons that I aspire to
glean what knowledge I can at the CCA–to create a more meaningful future
for myself, my children, and those who cross our path.

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