What kinds of tests do they give you at culinary school? Well, there are the written tests, such as sanitation regulations and naming the parts of a knife. Then there are the practicals, which involve actually preparing stuff. One of our practicals will be poaching pears.
A couple of weeks ago, I practiced poaching a pear. Everything went well until the very end, when I was making a juice reduction sauce. What happened? Let’s just say that there’s a very fine line between juice and burnt caramel. I walked away from the stove for one damn minute and when I went back, my juice had started to burn and I had caramel. That is not what I wanted. I went into a deep, deep, deep depression over this. Here I am, spending thousands of dollars on culinary school, and I couldn’t even poach a damn pear!
I’ve cooked all types of cuisines, made so many different things, from simple hors d’oeuvres to elaborate meals. I’ve made things that took days to prepare, like the Swedish sandwich cake called Smörgåstårta. But I’m not going to be tested on Smörgåstårta! I’ve cooked Thanksgiving dinner for 20, had dinner parties, holiday gatherings, barbecues, cooked for other people as a personal chef and I’m going to be done in by a freaking poached pear??!!!