Baking Through the CIA: at the Zoo

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It’s crazy to think I’ve been here for a month already. Time is flying by and I’m learning things faster than I ever could have imagined. What was once confusing is now familiar and the labyrinth that is Roth Hall now seems linear and navigable. I’ve settled in now and I am able to appreciate the school beyond the initial fervor and excitement of being a new student.

One of the more interesting aspects of the school is its existence as something beyond just an educational facility. It seems to split its function right down the middle between being a place of learning and being a tourist attraction.  It seems impossible to walk through campus without getting caught in a flock of tourists roaming around. This sounds like a negative, but it’s far from it. I find it fascinating the level of interest the profession attracts. Aside from prospective students, you rarely find people interested in touring law or medical schools, but there is some sort of mysticism about the culinary field, and people are drawn to it like moths to a flame. They love food, and they want to see where the chefs responsible for what they eat learn their craft.

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All of the attention the school attracts has seemingly led to their design catering to incoming groups. For example, they have a bus port at the base of the main plaza, where a steady stream of coach buses carrying school students and senior trips flow through. The front of the classrooms is lined with large viewing windows, allowing the guests to get a look into our daily lives. From what I have seen, there are new tours every few minutes. I myself recall touring the school when I was in high school. From that first-hand perspective, I can attest to how interesting (and hunger-inducing) the experience can be. As I did on my tours, the visitors generally conclude their trips by filing into the Apple Pie Bakery & Café to satisfy their sweet tooths, or grab a meal at one of the other three phenomenal restaurants on campus.  It’s like a zoo in the best possible way and is truly a unique part of being a student at the CIA.

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Classes this week were generally a review of some of the major recipes we need to have down for our practical, including genoise and pate a choux.  It was great to get some extra practice in, and they were certainly easier this time around. We are now four weeks into the semester, which means we only have two weeks of our current round of academic classes left. Pretty soon, Food Safety will be replaced by Nutrition, and Professionalism will be replaced by Gastronomy. I’m counting down the days until Tuesday when I’ll be back in the kitchens and on to new recipes. I can’t wait.

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By Andrew Bergman

Andrew Bergman