During the process of mastering the kitchen you learn a lot and not only about cooking. I realized this near the last lectures when like any other trainee, I started thinking about the reasons that brought me to ATC and what I learned at the end of the program. For all of you who are wondering who I am, my name is Erald and I am completing a culinary course at the ATC Professional Institute.
On the 51-week journey to my life profession, I learned from the most basic vegetable preparation to sophisticated desserts with difficult techniques. The desire to give my best served as a motivation for creativity when preparing dishes. Now there is no turning back – I have always dreamed of being a chef and I’m ready! I’m in front of the finish line and I want to stop longer to share with you some important lessons for life, which I believe will be useful to anyone who has the same passion as me.
1. Patience is a virtue… Not everyone has it!
“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet!” says my mother always. I learned this while baking the first cakes during the lectures. I admit that for fear of being burned, I checked the oven every 2 minutes. I wanted them to bake perfectly and get the professor’s applause. What did this bring me? It took longer for them to bake than I lowered the temperature each time I checked them. In conclusion, without further ado, I used this comparison to point out that people make the same mistake as I do, even though circumstances change. Good things need time.
2. Mise en place!
The term originating from France, “Everything in its place”, refers to the systematization of working materials before starting the preparation of the dish. It’s one of the basic rules we’ve been taught at ATC. To be honest, it took me a while to get used to this rule as when I was cooking at home, I always had the freedom to be as much of a mess as I wanted to be. This rule made me realize that work has a certain ethic and that following it makes the conclusion more effective, faster and in my case, more enjoyable. Organization and cleanliness, the basics in every workplace and not only!
3. Love the job you have chosen because you will do it your whole life!
There will be good days, just as there will be hard days. The first week I got up tired and unmotivated because I had not gotten my hands on cooking. The second week I felt irritated and was ready to give up. The third week, I started to get up with a desire to cook something fantastic for lunch keeping in mind Professor Anthony’s advice. I realized that me and the kitchen are inseparable.
I have often heard people say, “If you do what you love, you will not have to work a single day in life.” I can not say that I agree 100% with this expression so I made a small change. To me, if you do what you love, you will have to work, but the satisfaction you get from work is nothing compared to anything in the world!