Tag Archives: The Restaurant School

Sautéed Chicken Breast in Orange Dijon Sauce

The Book and The Cook Fair at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in 1999 was a memorable moment. My mom and I walked into the exhibit hall to an overwhelming lineup of tables with representatives from restaurants, catering companies, new products, and culinary arts colleges. Located on the sides of the hall, small stages were set up for cooking demonstrations; however, the highlight of the event was an appearance from Emeril Lagasse on the main stage.

That year, I started contemplating my future and where I’d be attending college; after The Book and the Cook Fair, I was sold. My mom and I left that day with a bag full of information from culinary arts colleges, and I finally knew what I wanted to be “when I grew up.” One thing led to another, though, and my talents for drawing and painting became a more logical focus, as I had opportunities to receive scholarships from local schools.

Though I never became an artist OR a chef, I still make both activities a hobby, but always wonder what would have happened had I taken the culinary arts route seriously. Last fall, I attended a 6 week series of community classes at the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in University City. Though the classes are non-credit and won’t make you an Iron Chef overnight, I learned valuable cooking basics – information that every chef knows like the back of their hand. Taught by Restaurant School instructors, each session followed a method of cooking, which we reviewed in a book from the school that now sits proudly among my other cookbooks. Not only were we allowed to keep this useful cooking manual, the classes ended with each student taking home a meal they had made that evening. It would have been nice to have something to show off my talents when I came home; however, the delicious meal never made it that far – I always devoured it on the car ride home. Read More…

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