The Graduate

December 12, 2011 | |

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Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this. ~Kelly Clarkson


I know many of you never thought that this day would come, but I am officially a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu. After many months of slaving over a hot stove (literally) and pouring my blood and sweat* into countless delicious meals (also literally), yours truly is now a chef.  This is great news for all of you, since you are now taking cooking and entertaining advice from someone with credentials. Frankly, I’m surprised you listened to anything I had to say prior to my graduation.  Thank you so much for blindly supporting me!

Graduation day was a whirlwind of excitement. The ceremony was rather long for my taste, but I got to walk on stage while hundreds of people clapped for me and took my picture, so it was worth it. I also received a chef’s hat and an authentic Le Cordon Bleu medal. Although the chef’s hat was paper, and I don’t generally wear medals, I was still very grateful to have received them. Reflecting on my experience over the past year, I feel incredibly lucky just to have survived. Chasing crabs around the kitchen, stuffing fish with other fish, handling every kind of meat and poultry imaginable, using a blowtorch, grinding organs, wearing a hairnet…it’s a miracle that I have all of my digits, let alone a diploma.** Graduation was one of the proudest days of my adult life.*** Plus, I was having a good hair day.

Proof of good hair day.

For those of you who think that graduating from culinary school doesn’t necessarily qualify me as a chef…I’m not surprised. In fact, one of the superior chefs said the very same thing when he addressed our class at graduation. He views our training at Le Cordon Bleu as the beginning of our journey towards becoming a chef. According to him, we need to spend at least five years in a restaurant kitchen before we can be considered “real chefs.” While I respect his opinion, I’m going to ignore it. I have in my possession a very real chef’s hat, medal, and diploma, and you better believe that I am going to use them.  Don’t worry, I don’t expect anybody to start addressing me as “chef.” That will only be necessary when I’m in the kitchen. And when introducing me in public. Thanks.

*No tears. The first rule of being a domestic god(dess): NEVER cry in the kitchen. It shows weakness and it makes your eyes puffy. Unforgivable.

**I wish I could present you with a photo montage of me performing these tasks. Preferably to the tune of “Graduation” by Vitamin C.

***I use the term “adult” loosely.

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