Living Life Big!!!

Hey guys what is going on!?

I wanted to check in with everyone and give you an update of whats been going on here in the great state of Montana. I have been working hard out here and it has finally paid off as I was promoted from second cook to first! I am pretty pumped about it. I have to thank my chefs Adam White and Joe Campbell for pushing me because at the beginning of the season I was pretty much worthless.

Things are starting to wind down here a little bit as far as the flow of people coming in. It actually really sucks i would rather be moving then having to wait for tickets to come in. I am coming home October 5th and am pretty excited about it. As much as I love this place I have certainly missed the people at home. I will probably be there for a little bit then I will be going to Colorado for the winter. I will be in Steamboat Springs so if you like to ski or just check out some big mountains you are more than welcome.

so until October take it easy guys, and love you all

-Jesse

Hey Guys Long Time No Talk!!!

Hey everybody whats going on?!?! I have some time on my hands today so I thought I would give everyone an update.  I have been working a ton! Seems like more and more everyday but I love it.  The challenges that each day brings is awesome. I’ve found that even the hard days you improve.  I am getting more responsibility and its difficult. I am training at working wheel, or the middle of the line.  I have done every position on the line now and this is the most difficult. You are the quarterback of the kitchen.  You make the calls, you bring the intensity, and the motivation to get tickets out under 10 minutes.  Now lets not get this wrong, ten minute tickets times are good but you always want to be faster and better.  

I am starting to look for winter jobs and my thoughts are Carolina’s or SoCal or just jump ship and go to Italy or in general Europe.  Its kind of cool to have the world at your finger tips and be able to go different places to not only work but explore.  I have found that the best chefs do that, they learn from different cultures and incorporate that into their food.   

Other than the food business, I have done some exploring of the park which you have probably seen on my facebook.  I must say that the pictures do zero justice of the beauty of this park.  I thought the Cape was God’s country until I came here and it doesn’t have shit on the majesty of the mountains.  Unfortunately as beautiful as they are, they are a million times more dangerous.  We have lost two people this year one a GPI employee from another lodge.  Mother Nature has a funny way of thinning the herd (wow I sound like Chef Ullman.) The natives around here talk about how Nape (Nap-ee, their God) is very giving but cruel in taking. and after these two people I would say so. 

I would like to congratulate my class on graduating, we are all certified to make high class dog food now haha. MIss you guys and hope all of you are doing well.

To everybody else I love and miss you dearly. Ill be back before you know it!

-Jesse

Kitchen Life, Friends, and Kips…

What’s up folks?

So Boston has had a nice heat wave and a wonderful hockey team playing and I have been missing it all haha.  Kitchen life is pretty brutal when it comes to sports because I work at night and ironically that’s the only time they play the games so I kind of get screwed.  It is starting to pick up in the kitchen not only in plates but in intensity. My sous chef Joe Campbell is from Minneapolis and has worked at restaurants that are run by James Beard award winning chefs. For those who don’t know it is like the pulitzer for cooking. He has a crazy high standard and he showed me that the tough way.  With about twenty minutes left till close I almost single handily crashed the line and it was a brutal feeling. I was made to feel like of piece of shit and it hurt my pride big time.  I went home and didn’t sleep that night because I was so disappointed in myself. I stayed awake to see what I needed to prep for the next day and how I was going to do it and so forth.  It was embarrassing and the next day I was screamed at for at least the first six hours of my eight hour shift. Then I started to get built back up again and finished the night strong. It maybe have been the craziest 36 hours of emotion in my life. from good to really bad to bad to ok. The cool thing was later that night Joe and I were out at the bar called Kip’s and sat me down to talk and he basically said that stuff can’t happen again but he was happy I had the balls to come back and take another swing at the plate. Im realizing complacency in a kitchen is not allowed and stuff isn’t suppose to be done now but right now. I am so pumped to be working with Joe because I want someone to push me to the brink and he knows what it takes to make quality food.

As far as friends go I have a few now they are good guys and they are all kitchen guys for the most part. Met a lot of people from Michigan which I have found out that they are all closet Pats fans because of Brady.  They all like to hike and say I should go but hiking is not my thing. I haven’t been able to go fishing yet due to work but I am thinking I’m due for a nice day of just me and the water.

Now for the local legend of Kip’s. It is a rustic American bar and beer garden known for doing Karaoke five days a week and have $2 beers and $3 shots. It also has been known to have a few fights go down because “the Blackfeet people don’t like white people too much.” I have found though that it’s a bunch of shit because I have met plenty of locals and they are good people and their culture is amazing.  They are built on pride and honor and are very spiritual.  Overall it is the equivalent to the Happy Swallow or The Whale Back.

Overall it’s a start that I have a lot to learn and got some good people around to help. Until next time GO B’s!!!

Missing everyone!

Jesse

Hello from Montana!!!

Hey guys!

I finally made it out here and it is absolutely beautiful! The flights were fine and my stop was boring but I made it here safe and sound so that is all that counts.  When I landed I got picked up in Kalispell and then we drove to  Glacier Park Lodge which was gorgeous. I could have done without the company considering the were two older women that were crazy tree huggers and telling me how my respiratory system would get better because I was breathing in mountain air.

We stayed in a dorm that night which was awful cold and a scene out of the movie “Indian summer.” We had orientation where I met some cool people and then after we made our way to St. Mary.  If you are going to visit me this summer go through the park it is the most stunning thing you will ever see and makes you really appreciate this side of the country.

Finally we got to our dorms here unpacked relaxed mostly. I met a few kids who I am working with one who has work for Momofuko, Noodle Bar, WD-50, Parry Street, and Next in Chicago. (for none foodies these are unreal establishments and some of the best chefs in the country run them.) He is really cool and is very open to help me which is awesome.  I’ve have also met a few other people but pretty much me and maybe 3 others are true east coast people and pick up on each others humor.

I worked yesterday in the kitchen and all we did was clean (thanks J-Roy!) I actually found myself laughing a bit because there were some people standing as if they were too good to clean.  We have a cool head chef who graduated LCB Portland and he is very up front and relaxed guy.  We also have a sous from Minnesota (ya you betcha) and I don’t know how to take him yet. Sometimes he acts like he hates you and than other times he doesn’t. We currently open next Friday, so we are going to go over the menu and everything and we are doing a mock run Wednesday I think? We will be serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Overall so far so good and I am looking really forward to learning and seeing the sights up here.

-Jesse

P.S. For all my LCB family graduating in June, I am sorry I won’t be there but enjoy the hell out of it! You guys deserve it and when I get back we will plan something and have a night out for old times!

The Last Day of School

class

So yesterday was my last day attending class at Le Cordon Bleu and man were the emotions crazy.  We all showed up and went to class like usual and then we did the walk of fame.  The walk of fame is a tradition that every class that is going on externship gets to do. All of the other classes line the hallway on the fourth floor outside their kitchens with pots and pans and rolling pins. They make as much noise as possible and cheer you on congratulating you as you walk down the hallway.  It always seemed corny to me, but when you get to finally do that walk and realize how much work you have put in to be able to do it, it feels awesome!  We got a little pep talk from our Executive Chef (aka Principal) Bill Walker which was pretty inspirational basically saying take this career step by step and never stop learning. After that we went back to class took our written exam, and cleaned the kitchen one last time.  We listened to music danced around the kitchen a little. One kid named Justin, took it to a whole other level dancing. It was somewhere between bad white girl at a bar dancing and a seizure but it was hysterical.  Then we got some time to go and thank the other chefs for teaching us and helping us along the way.

Finally we all got back to the kitchen listened to some Bob Marley and Red Hot Chili Peppers until we were aloud to leave.  Walking out of that building was definitely bittersweet because there a lot of good memories and people in it, but it was also gratifying as hell to know what I have accomplished.  We all met up as a class outside and had a shot of vodka, which for this group of people was the perfect send off. We said our goodbyes with handshakes and hugs followed by “keep in touch!” Then we all went our separate ways into the night.

As dysfunctional as we could be, and as mad as we could get at each other we made it together, and at the end of every class we had a family style dinner. Now the world is our dinner so let’s eat!

Best Wishes Everyone!!!!

-Jesse

My First Post/ What school Is like

Looking towards the future…

Hey everybody what is going on? Since everyone asks me all the time what its like to cook, and are wondering about the adventure ill be going on I decided to make a blog.  It is a thousand times easier than calling everyone to update them all the time.  So lets give you the where, what, when, and why? I will be traveling to Glacier National Park in Montana and will basically be in the middle of nowhere haha. Hence the title of the blog.  I will be working at the restaurant at St. Mary Lodge as a second cook. A second cook is basically a glorified vegetable cutter, and part time dish washer. For those of you who are like why the hell would you go all the way out there to do that? Here is your answer. No matter where I was going to work I would be doing exactly that anyway, so for me it was the idea that if I am going to do that anyway why not try to spread my wings and see if I fly.  I have always wanted to go out west to Seattle and California, and if this is a stepping stone then why the hell not let’s do it up!  With that being said I will be leaving May 23rd so toget ready for the culture shock I’m trying to fit in as many F-bombs and dropping R’s in words as much as I can.

School Life!

So for those who don’t know or have forgotten I am currently going to Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Cambridge, MA.  I have been going since October and it is crazy how much I have learned and done since I have been there. Our classes are broken up into modules which go for 6 weeks. First classe is basically an introduction to food safety and what you think you are getting yourself into. You learn the “Mother Sauces” and start to learn knife cuts. It was particularly brutal for me because it brought me right back to high school which was…boring to me haha.

The second class you start to learn secondary sauces how to make side dishes while getting to starting to expand your palate. My chef for that class was Jess Roy. She is freaking awesome.  She is a sushi chef and left handed which are unheard of, in Japan and America for the most part women are not allowed to make sushi and to be a left handed is a no no too. She’s a badass, and was a semi pro snowboarder too no big deal.  She killed us on cleaning but it was cool and I didn’t mind because she was straight up with us, and pushed us all the time to do be better.

In my third class you work on making full plates and plating.  I got to admit this is when I realized I didn’t just like to cook, I love it. My chef was Eric Ullman. He is another guy who to me is awesome.  He started off wanting to persue music and opened for a lot of well known bands from the area and for the longest time restaurants were just a way to pay the bills until he got into it and saw what cooking can become not just money but beauty.  He was straight up no bullshit with us. If he didn’t like your plate it was “looks crappy and if your not going to eat something raw, what makes you think I want to?” I have learned a ton from him and I feel bad because I always buzz around him because I want to learn (same with Chef Roy too, if they ever see this I hope you don’t hate me haha) and he has asked me to help him do catering events with him and master chef classes which are fun.

In my fourth class it is all baking and pastry. I am not going to lie, it was brutal because to me that is not cooking. My chef for that class owned Konditermister in Braintree and it was cool to see the things she could pipe.  It was crazy hard though I struggled a little with the class but tried my hardest to get through it.

Currently the class I am taking is fine tuning our cooking techniques and opening up to different seasonings around the world.  It is called Cuisine Across Cultures.  I love it because we get the different seasonings but it is also a little agravating because we are starting to get some people that are losing interest which means crappy dishes be served.

I will try and update as often as possible but with no clue on what the interent connection is going to be like in Montana it might be one of those things that is to be determined!

 

Peace, Love, and Food!!!

- Jesse