A True Day in the Life of an American Culinary Student

Every culinary school has slightly different schedules, both in terms of the day-to-day schedule as well as how many months or years it takes to complete the entire program. It won’t be exactly like this student’s experience, but if you’re looking for a shorter but more intensive culinary school experience, this is the type of schedule you can expect.

5:45am- Wake-up. 

6:30am-Arrived and school and started reviewing for my Storeroom Operations final and practical. I was able to get in a solid 20 minutes of reviewing and headed into the dining room. The final took about 15 minutes and next I was on to the product identification practical. 

7:45am-The practical was a little tougher than the written test. We had 15 minutes to identify 92 fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs. In many cases it was required that we be specific (i.e., “pear” was not the correct answer, “bosc pear” was). 
Upon turning in our practical we had the option of earning four extra credit points by tasting or identifying something the Chef had selected. Our first option was to identify a beige, stringing looking something in a bag covered in Japanese writing. None of the students had enough confidence to select the identification option, which turned out to be shark fin. That left two tasting options, Dave’s Insanity Sauce or these little pickled fish that “Taste like salt, but the fins and scales get caught in your throat.” 
I opted for the Dave’s Insanity Sauce. Chef ran the toothpick in the hot sauce, and with a smile handed me the hot sauce. I coughed a few times and ran to find bread and milk to soothe the heat. It was worth the extra points. 

8:15am-I go shopping for storeroom foods. Fortunately, the requisitions we are filling today are for day 1 of the next class. Usually day 1 requisitions are smaller because of limited production. 

9:00am-Since it was the last day of Storeroom Operations, we began to deep clean the room. 

11:15am-Lunch runs from 11:15am to 12:15pm and is served by other students. At 12:05pm we were still waiting for our salads, which is the second course. The student waiter brought us meat knives and then realized he had never served us salads after the soup. He decided to go ahead and skip the salad and on to the entrée we went. I received my lamb rack and it looked as if it were accidentally dropped on the grill. It was terribly undercooked. Definitely the worst lunch I’ve ever had. 

1:00pm-I had the opportunity to join a Chef as he prepared for a photo shoot with the Rocky Mountain News. The Chef was going to be making Braciola and meatballs. After we were done with the prep and mise en place (the mood of the plate) for the shoot, I had to go to my afternoon class. The Rocky Mountain News didn’t arrive until after I left so unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to see any of the cooking, photography or writing. 

2:00pm-Went to my Menu Planning and Cost Control class upset that I was missing the photo shoot. 

4:00pm-Left class in a rush to get to a job interview. Went to a restaurant downtown that’s about to open and interviewed for a line cook spot. The interview went well enough that I was asked to come back in for a 2nd interview Wednesday. 

6:00pm-Started my storeroom paper that’s due tomorrow. 

7:30pm-Went and played a little basketball to break up my storeroom paper. 

9:00pm-Recovered from playing basketball and got back on my paper. 

10:30pm-Ironed my uniform and organized my stuff together for the next morning. 

11:00pm-Light’s out.