Well now! The semester has lurched to an end and we all survived our own cooking!
Remember five months ago, and that first class which always starts the semester ... "Make Me Cookies"? Everyone had their own take on what should happen, and almost nothing happened in over two hours ... we had a few burnt cookies, lots and lots of raw cookie dough (because no one came to turn on the ovens) ... and no real coordination between anyone.
Remember the second class, with the first demonstration (how to really make cookies), then the challenge to, again, "Make Me Cookies", and you were only given 40 minutes from cold start to finished product, and EVERYONE succeeded? I certainly do. It was the start of your success.
You have all come such a long way! Over the Christmas holidays and in early January each of you has successfully completed the "Chef-At-Home" project, cooking for your family for three days. Now every one of you has demonstrated your skills in our 5-hour Final Exam, creating at least 3 dishes from scratch. You have your menus, you have your memories, you have shown us all how wonderful, confident and skill-filled each of you now is. You have learnt a huge amount, and you have learnt it very well.
Now, here is my final challenge to each of you: Take your skills of strong focus, getting rid of distractions (which is why a professional kitchen does not have radio or music on), the ability to start AND finish something, and to receive encouraging compliments and accept them with both acknowledgement and gratitude, and apply all this to every other class you are going to take.
Reputation is on the outside, character is on the inside. Guard your reputation with every good thing you can do, dear students ... in the end, it is all you will have to offer: Your personal qualities of honesty, integrity, knowledge, skill and honour.
Good Luck to each of you.
A HUGE thanks to our co-op student, Emmerson (a graduate of this program), and Chefs Ruby and Susan. You all make my work SO much better and smoother. Thank you!
Please do stay in touch!