Tuesday, February 26, 2013

an introduction

Good Evening Readers!
This is my first blog post and I am new to this whole blogging thing.
The reason that I decided to start a blog was actually because I was writing similar posts on facebook about my most recent class: Wines Studies. Now for in order for you to understand this class, you should know that the Culinary Institute of America is an insane school. Not only do you learn something new everyday (which I love) but each class is only three weeks long. In this three week block,  you could learn to debone twenty pounds of chicken, or roll out ten pounds of fresh pasta, or even write out five million notecards that weigh together 2.5 pounds in order to cram all of that  "brand new information"  in your THREE pound brain. It is quite a challenge.
 This wines class is said to be the most difficult class at the CIA. The reason I think wines requires so much effort is because as a cook, I am quick to think on my feet, to react, to perform, to excel in the heat of the kitchen. But not so much when I am sitting in a classroom for hours, trying to determine whether this Pinot Grigio has a nose of mint, hazelnut, or wool. If there is one thing I have learned about wines, it's that you can smell anything in the entire world in a wine. I'm being serious. Cat pee, sharpie, dirt, dead rodent, a n y t h i n g. It is actually crazy. But back to business. It is difficult when everyday, prior to this class,  my peers and I rely on performance grades, and now we have three test grades where we are expected to memorize the entire world of wine. For those of you who are not so familiar with food and recipes this may be hard to understand, but when you are cooking- you can feel the ingredients, you smell the aroma of that rich tomato sauce, you are tasting the recipe with each element you add into that pot. And when you are finished, well you could easily repeat those motions because of your muscle memory, your intimacy with those ingredients. Not once in this class have a felt a semillon grape, traveled to a vineyard, felt the chalky soil, seen the disgorgement process, tasted a million champagnes before they were blended together to form the perfect Tete du Cuvee. So how are we supposed to buckle down and memorize everything within 21 days? Well you live, breathe, taste (and spit), and dream wine for those five hundred and four hours. Have you ever seen those bing commercials, where they relate every single thing to something that has nothing to do with the subject at hand? Well that's how it is with real life, except that everything relates to wine, and you find the need to say it out loud, because if you don't you are afraid that it will drift away and you will never be able to call it back when it appears on the exam.   So far I have made it through the bulk of the class, including two tests- my grades keep improving which is encouraging. But all in all this past weekend I think I studied around 16 hours. The final for this class is Thursday and it is luckily open book, which means 790 pages to tag and thumb through for the duration of this test.
<-here is a picture of my new wall decor, which is made up by 177 sticky notes that are filled with the regions of wine in France and Italy. 
I hope this gives you a little taste of what life is like in the real world here for an average girl.