This week marks my second week of culinary school and I’m pumped to check in with y’all to share a few things I’m learning. First off, it feels great to be a student again. Wearing a backpack and buying school supplies has been a fun transition.
Though I haven’t had the opportunity to roll up my sleeves and get in the kitchen yet, I’m taking two lecture-heavy classes this semester: (1) Principals of Culinary Leadership and (2) Safety & Sanitation. I am super interested in the course content and my classes have been ripe with enlightening discussion. I really like my professor, Chef Alex (pronounced Ah-lex); I have her for both courses. Originally from Northern California, she went to culinary school in Atlanta and has her Master of Education degree. She’s funny and often shares real life scenarios from her experience working in the field.
In Principals of Culinary Leadership, we explore hospitality management techniques used in differing work environments with an emphasis on human relations, building a staff and leading a team. I find the material to be applicable to so many fields, not just culinary arts. I’m learning all about effective communication in the workplace, organizational flow charts, training and recruiting principles. Isn’t it amazing that oftentimes in the workforce, we’re thrown into management positions without proper training and expected to know this stuff? In so many industries, no wonder the turnover rate is so high and the wrong people are in the wrong roles! The entire team suffers under poor management. I could write a book on this topic from personal experience. It’s amazing to be taught the keys to supervisory success and the components of management. There really is a method to the madness!
Good news: I got a 100 on my first homework assignment. Also, for our class project, each student must create a handbook for a fictitious hospitality organization. In class this week, we discussed the first component of the project – our mission statement. Would you like to see what I came up with? It was so fun letting my mind wander about what kind of restaurant I would own, if I were to open one someday. I took inspiration from one of my favorite coastal Southern dining spots–Barbara Jean’s, and made it my own.
Coastal Country-Chic Cooking
Founded in 2016, Rebekah Anne’s is the destination for refined Southern dining and innovative cocktails on Georgia’s beautiful coast. Fresh seafood, classic down home dishes and Southern hospitality meet in this oceanfront restaurant where guests are treated like family and excellence is the standard upon every visit. With each meal, our knowledgeable staff confidently delivers consistent service. We believe in sourcing quality ingredients locally and serving a seasonal, ever-changing menu. We take pride in offering live music every weekend and a beachside dance floor where memories are made to last a lifetime.
How’d I do? It needs a little work, but I was encouraged after reading my idea aloud in class when the first comment from one of my peers was, “When are you opening?” followed by agreement and laughter. Two of my classmates even asked me for help with their own. Thumbs up!
My Safety & Sanitation class is one of those foundation classes students must take before they can move on to any of the other coursework. We’re learning fundamental kitchen and dining room safety, sanitation, maintenance and operation procedures. I’m excited to understand how to operate and clean large scale equipment and about knife safety. Stock, soup and sauce production is also covered. Upon completion of this class, I’ll be ServSafe certified. Accredited by the American National Standards Institute, the sanitation certification is required by most restaurants as a basic credential for management staff. In layman’s terms, I’ll be legit, y’all!
As my second week of culinary school comes to a close, there are two things this Georgia girl has figured out. In response to my instructors, I’ve replaced the phrase “Yes m’am” and “Yes sir” with a lively “Yes CHEF!” I’ve realized too, that all my curly hair can indeed fit into a chef’s hat. That’s a relief!
Until next time…I’ve got some studying to do. I’m off to create flashcards on foodborne illnesses and cross-contamination. 😉
You can keep up with my culinary school journey by following my blog or connecting with me on social media. Like Some Kinda Good on Facebook or find me on Twitter and Instagram @SKGFoodBlog. Can’t wait to connect with you!
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Georgia native Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser is a freelance writer, entertainer and food enthusiast who writes and speaks about her love of good food and the Coastal South. A Season 2 Contestant on ABC TV’s “The Taste,” she is the Statesboro Herald food columnist and past host of the program “Statesboro Cooks.” Lingenfelser is a student at the award-winning Culinary Institute of Savannah. To learn more, visit RebekahFaulk.wix.com/RebekahFaulk or connect with Rebekah on social media by following Some Kinda Good on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.