As you've all noticed its been awhile since my last posting! The reasoning: transitions- literally!
The last days of my classes at Texas Culinary Academy went by as a flash of packing, projects and saying my goodbyes to Austin. The day after my last final I forced myself out of couch (my bed was already in a storage unit by then) at 6am and drove to my home town of Lubbock, TX. Once arriving, I dropped off my dog for her own version of summer camp at my family's home and picked up my parents as travelling companions for the rest of the seven state trek across the United States. Over the next four days we drove through the plains, hills and Rockies of this great country. Eventually, 2,200 miles later we turned the car's engine off in Winthrop, Washington in front of Sun Mountain Lodge.
Needless to say you can't travel that far and not notice that your surroundings have changed dramatically. The Methow valley in which Winthrop resides is surround by tall jagged mountains, some still covered in snow. Wildlife is everywhere, mainly deer- but I see chipmunks, groundhogs, fowl on a daily basis and even the occasional black bear. The trees here are old and tall, with every rain storm the smell of pine intoxicates the air. When its not raining the perfume of lilacs is carried on cool breezes along with millions of seedlings that mimic snow fall. The weather is warm during the day and dry, but with night fall the temperature falls into the 40's-50's. I won't be surprised to see snow in September, before I leave! The people here are very friendly, but also very direct- I guess I'm to used to southern gentility and the blunt nature of conversation is surprising. The people I work with are what you would expect of chefs very colorful in personality and easy to be around! Most have been in the business for only a few years with the exceptions of the pastry chef (whom I work directly under) and the executive chef. Both have been in the hospitality industry for a few decades and are a great source of encouragement and knowledge.
The work aspect has been a fun transition to adulthood- this was very shocking to me, I expected 50 hour work weeks to be waring and stressful, but its not! I have fun at work creating and getting to know my co-workers. I also get the opportunity to create my own dishes and serve them in our dining room which has a 4 diamond rating- in other words fancy. I can't tell you how rewarding it is to serve something I've created from concept to reality and hear how much guests have enjoyed it! That was really the reason I got into this career- I wanted to create and give back. Its nice to see that happen after waiting to get to this point of my adult life. So far, its a pretty good start in my opinion. :)
This job also helps me appreciate my grandfather and uncles career's as farmers in a whole new way. The work it takes to produce high quality stock and literally seeing your work come to fruition and ( in a sense) giving it back to the community. I'm happy that my talents have lead me to this point and thank God for that!
This Friday I'm helping prepare a special dessert for a seven course dinner in our wine cellar room. This room is reserved for wine tasting and special dinners only . This dinner will be priced at $90 a head! Its crazy that I'm cooking at this level and it still surprises me at times!
I'm also excited to say that I and 3 other interns are planning a culinary research trip to Seattle in July! Chef Bradshaw is excited about all of us going and can't wait to see what ideas we bring back. I'm excited to see a city I've been dreaming about for the last 8 years! Seattle, is known not only for its farmers markets, but also its innovative restaurants, and convenient location to so much fresh produce. I can't wait!
I'll try to post more frequently so you can see my weekly adventures! But I'll be honest with you the lack of Internet connection effects that plan. But I'll try! God bless you all and have a wonderful week!
Pictures: Sunset and view from my front porch! ( I'm sharing a house with one other roommate and its great! only twenty minutes from the Lodge I work at.)
My first special! Lemon-black sesame seed pound cake with citrus-ginger ice cream. mmmmm...