SF Cooking School // One Week In

You know that feeling when you wish and hope for something for so long, and then it happens, but you can’t really believe it’s happening? That’s pretty much my life right now. I’m one week into culinary school at SF Cooking School, and I’m still pinching myself.
Even after donning that cap and chef’s coat (chef’s coat!!!)…
And putting on those sexy pants and shoes (gotta sneak in the pink socks)…
It still feels like I’m playing dress up, but it’s definitely for real…this is where you will find me for the next 32 weeks. Well, part-time anyway. The rest of my time will be spent juggling the craziness of life, working full-time, and attempting to maintain my sanity as I pursue this dream. I am anticipating a year of (semi) organized chaos…so bear with me if I disappear on you every now and then.
So, week one…where do I even begin? Well, for starters, this school is impressive. It’s brand new, spacious, and packed so full of kitchen tools, it nearly brings a tear to my eye. (Food & Wine Magazine even named it one of the top 10 places to take a cooking class in the world).
Oh, but notice how there are no chairs in our workspace? That’s because we stand the whole time! That’s 4 hours of standing during the weeknight classes and 6 hours on Saturdays. For this office gal, it’s a bit of an adjustment, but it’s all part of getting us acclimated to life in the kitchen. And I’m told it will get easier.
During week one, we covered a lot of the basics…kitchen tour, sanitation  and cleanliness, kitchen rules, knife drills, omelette making, some basic soups, and something I’ve been really looking forward to, making stock. Even though it’s “basic” stuff, I’ve still had so many aha moments. Our instructor, Chef Kirsten, is a wealth of knowledge, and I am soooo thankful she is direct and informative, but still has a great sense of humor.
Each class, we’re split up into teams (*cough* Top Chef *cough*) to complete our assigned recipes. We’ll rotate throughout the term, but my current teammates are the lovely Nancy (left) and Bettyann (right)…we’re otherwise known as the dynamanic trio behind Team #3 (woot, woot).
We were responsible for this beauty last week…I present to you…Potage Parmentier (that’s a fancy French way of saying potato leek soup). We made our version with russet potatoes, while another team used yukon gold. I have to say, although our soup was very delicious (and it pains me to say this), I did prefer the yukon. So if there is any nugget of wisdom I could pass along to you after week one…yukon gold in potato soup, folks. Try it.
My classmates have all been really nice so far, and I’m really looking forward to getting to know everyone better. We all have such different paths that led us here, but share a common thread of loving to make people happy through food.
I’m also looking forward to the impressive roster of guest speakers that will join us throughout the term…Craig Stoll, Daniel Patterson, Ryan Farr (he brings half a pig with him!), and so many more.
Needless to say, it was a whirlwind of a week, and there is so much more to come!


  1. Ginger Haave says:

    Awesome!!! I almost started crying reading today’s blog! So happy for you!!!

  2. Bonnie Haave says:

    Well you made it happen…Congratulations !
    It looks to me like,you belong in the kitchen.
    Love you,Mom

  3. This is sooo your year!!! HUGE CONGRATS!!!!!!

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks Leslie! As they say, consider this deim carped! Haha…
      Looking forward to a fun event on Friday.

  4. Wow, congratulations! This sounds like such an amazing opportunity for you! It was great to meet you at the blogger meet up and I’m excited to follow your adventures in cooking — plus maybe pick up some much-need tips haha!

    • Melissa says:

      So great to meet you too! And, wow, Diana…your artwork…amazing. I think you’re making the right call staying on that path.

      • Aw, thank you, Melissa! You’re too sweet! I’m definitely still wrestling with the decision, but at least I’m enjoying what I’m doing in the meantime. 🙂

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