Making a Non-Shady Friend at Le Cordon Bleu

via shutterstock (expensive & not your own)
via shutterstock (expensive & not your own)

I made a friend during class at culinary school. Please be excited about this miraculously mind boggling event because making a non-shady friend is not included in tuition. It’s necessary to mention many students surrounding my surroundings have previously been proven super scary. Do you think my new friend would ever steal mise en place, clarified butter, or recently torn tin foil for freshly baked chocolate chip cookies? Never.

Monday might be the day I randomly suggest we become facebook friends. I’ll even leave our facebook friendship on the highest level, so my iPhone is alerted each time she shares an important status update about her friendly life outside of culinary school. Realizing we were brand new friends happened the second she began fabricating a rabbit during production. Since we were working in groups of four, she unknowingly took one for my 1/4 of the almost veggie team. Taking a rabbit apart feels like cutting a cat into at least six pieces while it silently meows from cat heaven, even though it is really a rabbit. This imaginary cat visual has forever stained my brain.

All I’m saying is a rabbit without hair looks exactly like a cat without hair. This is how I feel, so it must be true. Having seen those funny-looking hairless cats somewhere on the internet, I’m like a hairless cat expert. This is mental anguish cat-rabbit pain mixed with butcher-torture twisted into one more forehead frown wrinkle. Before internet people start thinking I’m a fabricator skater, think again. I will take apart any animal my chef-teacher tells me to, minus a chihuahua. True story.

Our group consists of four girls. I’m secretly trying to figure out if they think I’m the worst group member in the history of group members. They all work in a kitchen inside an actual restaurant, which means they know the deal. We used to have a guy in our group. Someone kicked him out of our group the day I was absent last week. He didn’t want to taste what the group made that day. This obviously bothered the group majority. What if he had stomach problems that day? Ever thought about this guy being a citizen of the United States of America having the right to not taste group food?

Group work is for the birds. I guess people say this because birds are always in a group. Please do not tell my chef teacher this is how I feel because it will appear as though I’m not a team player. Guess how much working in groups hurts my feelings? More than the library volunteer yelling at me for not signing in with the scary pen attached to nasty yarn-looking yarn. More than the library volunteer yelling at me for throwing my can away in the trash can that really wasn’t a trash can. Being in groups hurts more.

Just when it seemed like I didn’t suck, I was somehow placed in charge of making black-eyed peas become shell-less. Come again? I try not to ask my chef teacher dumb questions like, “Excuse me chef, um, how do I remove the shell from a tiny black-eyed pea without it taking 48 minutes?” It is fair to assume most humans in culinary school know how to quickly de-shell a massive bowl of black-eyed peas, right? To non-kitchen people this shell removal is a moment away from causing cardiac kitchen arrest.

Before ever asking my brand new chef teacher a dumb question, I wait until he looks like he isn’t busy. He looks busy a lot, which makes this difficult. His window of not being busy is closed almost all the time. I’m like a bobcat prowling around the chef counter, waiting, hoping, stalking, just so I can ask a dumb black-eyed pea question. I usually save my questions for massive things like, “Chef, I need stitches. May I have a blue band-aid?” Chef teachers do not have time for black-eyed pea questions. Plain & simple. This class of constant international cuisine is a good thing. Really. It may appear as though I’m an unhappy student– not so. I have a non-shady friend.

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