First Day of Culinary School – Knife Skills 101

Yesterday was my first day of culinary school! I couldn’t sleep the night before partially due to an overload of possibly sampling three very chocolaty cakes right before going to bed πŸ˜€ and because I was so excited! I’m taking class right after work at 5:30 so there was a mad rush to get home, let the Nut out, and change into my chefs clothes. Seriously like pajamas – awesome!

I got to the school right on time (maybe a minute or two late, but on time by my clock) and was met by quite the eclectic group of people. That’s the cool thing about the culinary world – people come together over food from so many different walks of life. There are 9 of us all together. Four have teenagers (I think one is in law, he seems very business-like), two are girls about my age, one guy who has been in the restaurant biz for about 15 years, one is straight out of high school, and the last – well that’s me! The majority of us are career changers or people just looking to learn more about cooking.

Our first task! Complete our uniforms! We got our neckerchief (apparently keeps you cooler, jury’s out on that one though), our hat (pouf!), and apron! Then we all looked the same, except the girl that didn’t get the memo about black shoes. Then we got our knife rolls!!

Next we talked a little about the school, homework, what each week’s topics would be. Normal first day of class stuff. Then…. we headed to the kitchen! I was giddy with excitement!

Second task – wash our hands. We got a demo. I had a front row seat. I went to wash my hands and for some reason the soap wasn’t suddsing. Got more soap and then the whiff of rubbing alcohol. My hands were super steralized.

We very carefully took out our razor sharp knifes. My superglue was never more then a hand grab away. They first taught us how to correctly hold our knife. No pointer finger on top! The knife is an extension of your arm. And a bear claw (my little sis will love that reference, boo Baylor, rah rah TCU) for the other hand.

We learned several different knife cuts on different vegetables. The chefs demoed each cut for us first and then we attempted to not chop our fingers off. The divots on the knife are perfectly spaced to provide an easy reference point for the measurement requirements for each cut. They are two inches apart, the circumference of the divot is 1/4 inch, and the top of the knife where the blade reaches the handle is 1/8 inch.

Dull knifes leave you with worse cuts then sharp knifes, but sharp knifes don’t stop until they hit something… In other words, don’t cut yourself! If you’re holding the knife correctly, and using it right, you shouldn’t come to any harm.

Next, we took a tour of the kitchen. Then sat down and went over food sanitation. I am now the proud owner of my food handlers license!

The night finished up with us getting out two skillets per person, loading them up with a handful of beans and practicing our pan fliping elliptical-like motion. I think it was a ploy to make us have more things to clean up. haha

Everyone is incredibly nice. The chef’s are great and I’m really looking forward to learning as much as possible!

Knife 101 is done and all of my fingers are still intact! Success!

Now contemplating what to engrave my knifes with? Initials are cool, but I’m trying to think of something a little more fun. Maybe a bird?

17 thoughts on “First Day of Culinary School – Knife Skills 101”

  • How exciting – this sounds like it's going to be a great experience!

  • Wow that is a great experience! I always look at culinary programs but here I do not seem to find anything that I can do at night… Have fun!

  • How exciting! And it is only going to keep getting better. I have been guilty of using my pointer finger on top – but only when making a vertical cut in onions – weird, I know. I am pretty careful when cutting but I think it would be funny to have a band-aid picture engraved on my knives to always remind me to be careful.

  • Molly,
    I have already learned several things from your class. I didn't know that the little divots on the knife were reference points for the measurement of the cuts. Also, I didn't know about the pointer finger on the top of the knife. My knife skills were sorely lacking.

    Thank you teacher! I can't wait to see what else I'll learning next week.

  • @Becky That's awesome! Sauces and stocks are next week. I'll be sure to post with lots of tips!

  • Such an exciting day! It does sound like fun! Best of luck with your studies, I look forward to more stories!

  • OMG I'm so proud of you for going after what you want!!!! You're going to enjoy it so much! Oh and I don't believe the neckerchief keeps you cool at all…

  • @Butrcreamblondi Thanks!! It's super exciting and I'm loving every minute of it! ya– still not sure about the neckerchief. You kind of forget about it after you put it on. I tied mine this week without looking and I don't want to know how bad it looked. haha

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