**My apologies for the lagging posts in the past few months. As it turns out, life as an extern is not particularly conducive to the creation of culinary school updates for the blogosphere.**
My externship at Sushi Ran in Sausalito, CA was much as I expected it to be - a difficult, often uncomfortable, but invaluable opportunity for growth. I learned loads, saw (and tasted) beautifully crafted dishes, and got yelled at. a lot. I was not unhappy to return to my CIA cocoon in Napa where spilling an entire baine marie of toffee sauce all over a high traffic area of the kitchen minutes before service results in a wagged finger rather than panicked scrubbing under the tear-inducing screams of a furious sous chef.
Napa greeted our homecoming with sunshine, freshly budding grape vines, and roses in full bloom. Alas, we must endure nine weeks of classroom time fidgeting through Nutrition, Food Costing, Restaurant Law and such before our true triumphant return to the Teaching Kitchen. In the mean time, a few of my classmates have kindly agreed to share their extern experiences, inscribed via Facebook update, to fill the void.
First up is Logan who spent 18 weeks loving life as a linecook at Herbsaint/charcutier at Cochon Butcher in New Orleans.
"Sure feels good to not have to put on a dorky hat or miniskirt aprons for the time being amirite?
NOLA is pretty awesome. The food is tasty, the buildings down here are f*ing gorgeous and the option to buy booze laden slushies at any hour of the day or night is absolutely the best idea I’ve ever heard.
The restaurant is great, they’ve got me on saute and prep so far. Typical pirate crew, nothing but dick jokes and ass grabbing. I’m starting to feel at home.”
"Held my own on a record breaking lunch shift without going down in the weeds once. Was offered a full time position with the company after I graduate. Made my month."
"Chef Lars didn’t mention a damn thing about how much I’d need to drink as a full time charcutier. Sure he gave us a good foundation and covered the basics in great detail… but damn… it takes a lot of whiskey to do this much butchery."
"My last night at Cochon Butcher was met with shots of whiskey, pats on the back and firm handshakes. My extern manual is done. I got a copy of Real Cajun signed by Chef Donald Link himself, and a free 4 course dinner at Herbsaint. I feel like my brain has been eaten by a Nutria. I don’t think I can top yesterday… ever.”
"Woke up and was strongly considering having an Irish coffee at the Holy Ground, but was thwarted by the reality that I’m back in St. Helena… not New Orleans."