Monday, June 27, 2011

Culinary School Part 3

I have to say that despite the terrible trip home, Year 3 of culinary school was my favorite! A lot of my friends from Year 1 and Year 2 were there, which definitely made it more fun. A lady who teaches in my district also went, which was different from the years before and also fun. I'm so glad I got to go three years in a row because we had a little core group who all went together the last three years and it has been so fun having that relationship with teachers from around the country. Every year we go out together in the evenings and explore the local fare.
I was a little disappointed at first when we got the email saying they had changed our location. We were supposed to once again go to Le Cordon Bleu Orlando, but they were in the middle of some curriculum and class changes, so we changed to Daytona State College. It was DSC's first year of hosting so they weren't quite sure what to expect from us, but I think we convinced them they should keep hosting in the years to come:) If you know anyone looking for a culinary school but not wanting to pay an arm and a leg in tuition at one of the better known names, this is a great place for them to go. The staff is all so friendly and extremely knowledgeable. I really couldn't even believe all the information they had to share. I know they have forgotten more about food than I will ever remember. They also had great tales of the history and science to go along with everything, which made everything make more sense and more memorable. They were friendly to each other, too, which I think speaks highly of their department and what they have going on at DSC. Plus, they're just a few minutes away from the beach which makes everything better:)
The third year was much more relaxed and focused on more ethnic foods, which I was really excited about. I have to admit that I rocked out the Mediterranean food day:) Everyone was there to have fun and learn and we ate plenty of great food!
 We got (very) VIP access to the Daytona racetrack.
 The kitchen where they prepare food for over 25,000 people. The other 200,000 people bring their own food or eat concession stand fare like hot dogs, hamburgers, funnel cakes, and the other good stuff:) They had a race Sunday and they were smoking ribs on Tuesday when we went.
 This is the very VIP part of our tour. Bill France, the founder of NASCAR, has a suite on the top floor. It's gigantic and has an awesome view. Here's just a small part of it.
 Our great chef instructor, Dave Weir, demonstrating some fruit and vegetable carving.
 Dinner at some place with the word Deck and Down Under in it. Every time I tried to say it, I got it wrong. Beautiful location and this was our view from our table. Well, I didn't stand there the whole time, but the spot behind me was our view:)
 Dinner at somewhere else with a pretty view! We ate at JB's fish camp in New Smyrna Beach one night and that was a fun place to eat! I got seafood everywhere we went. Some of it was awesome, some not so awesome, but we had a great time!
 Lamb kebabs on Mediterranean day.
 Tabouleh (minus a couple lbs of parsley) on Mediterranean day. I seriously woke up in the middle of the night after eating this wishing I had some more.
 Barb and me with our roasted red pepper hummus and tabouleh.
Some more of the spread. I guess I only took food pictures on two days. Oops!

 Grilled endive with peppered citrus fruits, citrus vinaigrette, and candied orange peel (or as we called them, orange jujubees:).
 Green salad with crab cakes. I ate a lot of crab cakes this week!
 Pork tenderloin stuffed with spinach, cream cheese, blue cheese, garlic, and roasted yellow tomatoes.
 Since we were the first class to go through, we got a picture of us framed for them to hang. They loved it...even made the Dean a little misty eyed:)
Beautiful building. Only three years old and a great facility. Loved the entryway!

It was a great experience. I am really looking forward to attending the Spotilght Series next year! This year was on sustainable agriculture, so I'm hoping to have a similar topic next year!

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