Being Humble is the New Black

BY KIEU TRAN, NYC: Listen and respect your elders. I’ve heard that adage many times over, and its resonating tone rings a similar bell here in NYC.

A week ago, I met Jacques Pepin. I saw him de-bone a chicken in under 2 minutes, carve a rosette out of butter, and filet a fish within a blink of an eye. And throughout his demo, he oozed humility and had so much culinary knowledge. He told the crowd that to be great in the culinary world is to humble and to be open to learning.

With that advice, I approached my trails with the same notion. This past week I trailed at The Modern and Gramercy Tavern. They were both amazing restaurants and great learning experiences. At the Modern, I got to make macarons and watch Marc Aumont make chocolate. At the Gramercy Tavern, I got to see a fast-paced kitchen during service. It was like watching the  road-runner at work. Instead they were in chef coats with more agility, precision and craft, which was awesome to watch.

From demos to trailing, are you wondering what about school? School is amazing, as always. I’m in the puff pastry section. Making lamenated dough is oddly therapeutic and there’s so many desserts you can make with it.

It’s been a really busy month, as you can see. But I’ve also snuck in some great NYC time. I visited the Statue of Liberty, which is absolutely beautiful in person coupled with the Manhattan skyline. I visited the 9/11 memorial. I went to a Valrhona chocolate class and had dinner with Chef Kelly Fields, she’s awesome. And lastly, I had one of my NYC food highlights this month at Ippudo. Long wait, best ramen I’ve ever had! Don’t tell my grandma.

I’ll talk to you all next month. Stay tuned for updates on my internship at The Modern.

-Kieu