I am going to have to split this post about Le Cordon Bleu into two parts, I usually don't go into much emotional details on my blog, but felt like something almost transcendent happened to me at Le Cordon Bleu and I felt like maybe you would indulge me in going a little deeper just this once! Maybe make yourself a cuppa, we're going to be here a while!!
I had quite an emotional day being in the spiritual home of cooking. It just felt purely good to be there. I had a bit of a random D&M the other day with a friend about it, but this is the first time in my life that I have wanted to learn.
In school I just kind of just plodded along, almost as if I was on someone else's path. I got through my work, never really doing outstandingly well, but well enough. I got through high school and wanted to be a Dentist. So went to Uni and had such a horrible first year in science that I then started a Business Degree. I then added a Commerce degree too, because at least I would be employable with both. But what does that have to do with me. Not much. Or so I learned over the coming years. I persisted as an accountant for 4 years, in HR for 2, but never found the right fit for me. Some days were better than others but I always knew in my heart of hearts it just wasn't wasn't the job for me, was never where I was meant to be.
And then I became a mum. And whilst it isn't really job, it certainly is me finding what I love, and what I strive to be better at each day. It can be the hardest day with Maddie, I can be wanting to tear my hair out by the time my husband comes home, but then she runs and gives me a big hug around my legs while I'm cooking dinner and all is forgotten. No matter what time of the day/night it has been, whenever that little girl wakes up and wants/needs me, I can't help but smile. And now that she actually calls for me, I find myself skipping a little to get to her room faster. I guess you could say that I am one of those women that find mothering a very natural passion. When I was pregnant I just wanted to have my baby in my arms so I could take care of her, because I knew she would teach me how to. It has been an entirely life changing and esteem building experience and the first time in my life that I have had some confidence in what I am doing.
And then I arrived at Bloomsbury Square, Le Cordon Bleu headquarters in London.
I was such a mixed bag of emotions - more nervous than I'd been in a long time, and just SO excited! After registering and signing in we were taken into the demonstration kitchen/dining room for orientation where we met our Fish & Shellfish Chef for the day, Chef Eric.
As soon as we went into our kitchen I felt immediately calm. It was a very strange feeling but I just couldn't take the smile off my face, it felt so natural being in there. Perhaps I was a chef in my past life or something I don't know, but it just felt familiar almost!
When we were being taught various techniques and then went back to our stations to have a go I just loved putting what we'd just learnt to practice. My favourite moment was when we had all four burners going at once (making a white wine sauce, cooking clams, making a parsley/breadcrumb topping and reducing a citrus sauce) while prepping the scallops, squid and mussels, all the one time. On every CV in the past I've put my number one skill as being multitasking and time management. And FINALLY I've found where that is actually really bloody useful!! Ha!
This experience had such a profoundly positive impact on me that I have reevaluated my lifelong aspirations to include becoming a student again, a LCB student. I found myself so inspired and envious of all the chefs and student chefs, it just seemed to be a room filled with likeminded individuals who all have a passion for food. I know you don't have to become a trained Chef to enjoy food, but for me to achieve the dreams my Husband and I have set for ourselves, this wholeheartedly makes my part possible. So for now (and probably a long while) I am still a home cook with a passion for food, but one day, I'll trade in my apron for White's. And I am giddy at the very thought of it.
Part two of my Le Cordon Bleu posts will actually talk about some food, so I'll get that post to you soon! I took some videos of Chef Eric at work, but apparently due to confidentiality reasons, we are not permitted to show any of the LCB Chef's at work, so I won't be publishing as many photos/tutorials as I was planning on, but don't worry, some french seafood recipes will be finding their way onto my blog soon, I am now the proud owner of the Le Cordon Bleu Cuisine Basics cookbook!! One step at a time!