March Madness

BY CHRIS OKORIE,  NYC:

Hola! Me llamo Chris y este es mi blog de marzo. Translation: Hello my name is Chris and this is my March blog. Si senor, Spanish 101 is officially in effect. Learning Spanish (the language of love) has been a long time goal that I always wanted to accomplish; and my roommate Eli is helping me kick start that by teaching me the basics. These past two weeks have been fun, Eli has been drilling different words and phrases into my head every day. I mean seriously people we have been going through everything from how to count (Uno, dos, tres), how to say wassup (Que Pasa), how to greet a beautiful lady (Hola bonita), How to say curse words (……….) It’s weird however, though I always wanted to learn the language, it seems as though since moving to NY, learning Spanish went from being a future hobby in my free time, to almost a priority. As far as diversity goes in America, New York City is really stirring that “melting pot”. In NYC you’re bound to run into different ethnicities of people that either speak more than just english, or don’t even speak it at all. Spanish people aren’t the only ones speaking Spanish; Caucasian and African-Americans aren’t just speaking English; Everyone speaks a bit of everything in NY which I find amazing.

Other than learning Spanish I’ve also been cooking (duh). School has been dope as of late. OH WAIT, forgot to mention that I’m now in level 4 of the culinary program at ICC. To pass from level 3 to level 4 I had to take my mid-term. So the way that it worked was I moonwalked into class at 5:45 p.m., and chef made me draw from a hat. In that hat contained two different recipes either Pot au Feu and Salad Nicoise, or Skate fish and Apple tart. So not only did I not know what dish I was going to get prior to class, but I also didn’t know what time I was going to have to present these dishes also. So I ended up getting the fish and apple tart (much harder by the way) and I had to present the fish by 8:45 and the dessert by 9:37 to judges, former alumni of ICC. So how was it? Exciting! The entire experience of trying to rush and meet the deadline without missing a single component and still making sure to season and taste your food was so much fun. I definitely won’t say it was easy, nor would I say the judges thought my food was perfect because for one I forgot my lemon supremes on my fish  Although I made up for that big time because two of the judges said I had the best apple tart in the class (nodding at Calvin). And level 4 is family meal so basically we are cooking for the entire school staff along with the students.

Umm let me think, what else happened? Work at Ai Fiori is going really good. Chef PJ is still one of the coolest chefs that I ever met, and my sous chef Gordon is always having my laughing at his sporadic 2 chainz rap quotes at random times of the night (“Yea it’s going down so get up, I might valet park a brinks truck”) . My grandmother and the rest of the gang in New Orleans is doing just fine also. Well people I guess its time to “hit that old dusty trail people” talk to you guys next month!

BUENAS NOCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!