My Kitchen Prep Experience

19 Aug

On Tuesday night, I came home from my school’s scholar rafting retreat. When I got home at 10pm, my mom told me that I would be able to work (and when I say “work” I mean “volunteer”)  in a real commercial kitchen!

Now don’t get too excited because the commercial kitchen is actually in St. Anne’s senior home, but I still feel very lucky to be helping in the kitchen. I don’t get to bake much either, but I am able to help the chefs there. I chop, wash, slice, and peel vegetables and fruits. Today, I peeled two large bags of yellow onions (probably 40 lbs worth), cut the tips of all the green beans in a box about 18in by 18inch, and peeled and sliced 20 lbs of carrots. I think I was standing for three hours before I finally sat down to eat lunch. Then after lunch, I worked for another three hours.

Despite the long hours, that’s all I really wanted to do: work in a kitchen. But the thing is, is that no one really wanted to hire me or let me intern. But I’m a willing learner and so I’m grateful for St. Anne’s for teaching me how to work in a real kitchen.

Oh, that’s another thing – the kitchen feeds me! I did not expect it, but the kitchen manager always insists that I eat a plate of what the chef has made for the elderly patients. Today I got  roast chicken leg, white rice, sauteed green beans and mushrooms, a couple of strawberries (that I had cut earlier that morning!), and a giant cookie.

Working in the kitchen has been a fun experience for me even though it’s more kitchen prep work than baking. Yesterday I met the head baker and she told me that she would give me a call when she needs an extra hand baking. With the holidays coming up, there will be more baking that needs to be done. I’m very excited for when she calls me! Also, you would not believe the giant kitchen mixer that St. Anne’s has! It’s nearly four and half feet tall!

Before I even went to St. Anne’s, I planned to come every Saturday or Sunday even when school starts, but now l because I really enjoy the friendly chefs, bakers, and other kitchen staff, I know I’ll be coming back. Plus I think it’s a good opportunity for me too since I don’t have any kitchen experience.

Well,  I want to write more and I wish I had photos to show you, but I just wanted to update you real quick because once school starts next Tuesday who knows when I’ll have time to post.

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One Response to “My Kitchen Prep Experience”

  1. Mary August 19, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    That’s awesome, Nell! I think Mollie Katzen said if you want to be a professional cook, you need to learn how to cook for 8 as well as 80. My cousin used to cook in a senior home and she learned so much – and not just about food. I’ll bet working in a professional kitchen will help your baking skills.

    Good luck with the new school year!

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