Overall, my experience was a positive one. I gained a wealth of culinary knowledge; I improved as a cook, and gained confidence in the kitchen. I have to give credit to my main instructor for being supportive, yet critical, and taking the time to see me as an individual even though the course is all online—not an easy task!
And so I cook. As much as I can. This is not to say that every meal is a gourmet one, but you might be surprised at how many are! I have a better understanding of the fundamentals of cooking, of layering flavor, of seasoning correctly and at the appropriate time, of how you cook something makes all the difference in the final dish, and so much more.
If I had it to do all over again, I would go about it a bit differently, but hindsight is always 20/20.
- I would only sign up for a course at a better time for me. Taking off two months during the summer made the rest of the course much more stressful than it need be.
- I would take more notes. There was so much valuable information that would be good to review every now and again.
- I would print off every recipe task. I know this seems like a waste of paper, but with rare exception, all the recipes are well worth trying. And if you want to keep the skills you learn in this program, pulling out two or three tasks that you can schedule into your weekly meal plan will keep you from slipping back into your old ways.
- I would have taken more pictures of all my work, graded assignments and tasks alike. It is fun to flip through them now and see my progression as a cook.
It turns out that this course, while done, is far from over in terms of the impact it has had on my life. I take more care and focus when cooking, but in a more relaxed state of mind. I have always loved food, but now I appreciate it.