With a test-taking flourish and a frenzy of knife work, I’ve completed my first semester of culinary school.
Honestly, it’s been almost a week since my last final on Friday. I’ve been in … recovery.
Here’s what my finals looked like, in case you’re curious:
Food Production I written test: We were told it would take 2 hours. I finished it in 45 minutes. (It ain’t bragging if it’s the truth, right?) It was difficult, though, with about 150 multiple choice and nearly 100 matching questions, covering EVERY single thing we’ve discussed this year. (My typed study guide was 15 pages long.) And the matching items were NOT separated. Lots of flipping back and forth, narrowing down, etc. And there was “evaportation.” Don’t ask.
Baking I practical (Already told that one.)
Baking I written test: Not too bad, especially considering this is the class that has had very little book work. Multiple choice, true/false, and some basic culinary math (recipe conversion). Had to cram that week on types of leaveners, steps in various baking processes, and all that sort of detailed baking stuff. Bleh.
Foodservice Sanitation: As a final, we took the ServSafe Certification exam. We were warned that these standardized tests can be tricky, using one word to mislead you. Luckily, I think I caught ’em, if only because a later question often answered an earlier one. Done. So now I’m certified that I won’t kill you with my food. Probably.
Food Production I practical: The beast, the highly-dreaded final test.
I do OK in the classroom, and I’m pretty decent in the kitchen, usually. But all this precision cutting is for the birds. Our final practical exam was to produce:
- 2 concassé tomatoes (boil, shock, peel, seed, dice)
- 2 minced garlic
- 1 bunch minced parsley
- 1/4″ diced onion
- 1/4″ sliced onion
- Large dice potato (3/4″)
- Medium dice potato (1/2″)
- Batonnet potato (1/4″ x 1/4″ x 3″)
- Brunoise carrot (1/8″ cubes)
- Julienne carrot (1/8″ x 1/8″ x 2″)
We had the option of doing two tourné potatoes, which are darn near impossible, for extra credit. I did OK in class on this before, but only after extended amounts of cutting, shaving and re-doing. No time or patience for that now. Hopefully my cuts will be enough on their own.
This summer, I’m taking just one course, Food Production II. I think it will be a great class, so I’m kinda glad it didn’t work out for my schedule in the fall.
Meanwhile, in addition to my non-school Fancy Pants Foodie reports from the trenches this summer, I’ve decided to occasionally post some of my writing from Professional Food Writing class. We didn’t have a true final, in case you’re wondering.