BY CHRIS OKORIE, NYC: Firstly, time really flies! It seems like yesterday that Calvin, Emery, and I boarded the plane and arrived to New York; Now all of a sudden its been one whole month already. Let’s see, I had a ton of fun and memorable experiences this month in October but I won’t bore everyone with all of my adventures. So I guess I’ll give you (The reader) my October highlights in the “Big Apple”.
My schooling at the ICC has been exciting to say the least. So far I’ve passed both my exams (though disappointed with two B’s) and also learned new techniques in the process. One of those techniques that I’m still mastering is called the tournage. Its basically cutting vegetables; carrots, potatoes, turnips etc. into oval shaped football looking cuts. Sounds easy? Well it ain’t, because first few cocottes (size cut from tournage) looked more like a toe than a football. But one of the many perks of being a student at the ICC is that we are working with amazing chefs who work with all of us students and are constantly making us better.
Probably my most memorable experience as a cook so far also occurred in the month of October. I had the privilege of working at The James Beard House, volunteering with Chef Raul Vaquerizo of Riu Panama hotels. I need to look up a synonym for fun because the 3 letter commonly used word doesn’t do enough justice of describing the amount of it I had. Chef Raul is a hilarious chef who I immediately took a liking to; I had noticed when I was unloading their produce the day before the James Beard, that they had several 6 packs of bottled coke with them. I asked was it for a dish of some sort, Chef says, “Are you crazy, this for us to drink!” Chef Raul did some real dope dishes at the Beard House, and at the end he gave a great speech to all the guests. Thank you Ms. Gina Novak for making all of that possible.
Lastly, and most importantly my hearts go out to all affected by Hurricane Sandy, which ravaged the Tri-State area. I went and stayed at my uncle’s home in Brooklyn which received no damage at all, but I can’t say the same for most people in Brooklyn and surrounding areas, and I wish them a swift recovery.
And also a special thanks to Laurie Larson who provided myself and Calvin with Thomas Dean shirts and to Lolis Eli for the DVDs!