It's the evening before the first day of school. I can't believe the time has finally come; it's a bit surreal. Tomorrow evening I'll be heading downtown to Western Culinary Institute (http://www.wci.edu/) to begin my 30 weeks of professional training of the Le Cordon Bleu Program. Like a good little student getting ready for her first day of school, all pieces are good to go with just a few items I'll need to class.

Kitchen Uniform and dress code:

  • White chef's jacket with all buttons attached (since it's brand new I'm crossing my fingers that I have not lost any buttons so far)...check!
  • T-shirt worn under the chef jacket must be white in color with no patterns, words, designs or hood...check!
  • White cravat (or neckerchief)...check!
  • White commis hat...check!
  • Student photo ID badge to be worn and clearly visible...check!
  • School-issued black and white checked pants. Pants must be neatly hemmed and properly worn around the waist. Rolled up pants will not be permitted. Properly sized school issued checkered pants are the only pants allowed. (Got it)...check!
  • School-issued kitchen shoes (these aren't your mother's Jimmy Choos)...check!
  • Clean kitchen apron and two kitchen towels...check!
  • School-issued hats, aprons, and side towels are to be worn in all kitchen classes...check!
  • Aprons and side towels are not required in lecture classrooms or the library...check!
  • Chef jacket, hat, apron, pants and cravat are to be wrinkle free, neat and clean with no stains, at the beginning of each class...check (well, assuming I can get them there clean and wrinkle free)!
  • All hair must be clean, properly restrained, worn above your coat collar and under your hat. If hair extends to the collar or below, a hairnet must be worn...check! (And yes, I will most likely need to wear a hair net...perfect.)

I will say this once and only once; over the next eight months I will give up my usual ensemble of the latest clothing styles for one that is uniform, rigid, but most importantly, respected. Being covered from head to toe in a white cap and hair net, chef's jacket, chef's apron, black and white checkered pants and steal-toed black, leather shoes wouldn't be my first choice, but I will wear it all with pride. From the beginning of time in the culinary profession, many great culinary students and chefs have adorned such outfits and I'm happy to now be among them.

Oh, and I cannot wear nail polish - not even clear. They take enormous precautions of anything unwanted getting into the food and that includes chipped off nail polish. This will be a first for my nails since...oh...high school?

And there are 18 steps involved in tying the cravat; the 18th step being a repeat of step 17.

Here we go!




Sheila Saltmarsh said...

I will be thinking of you tomorrow as you embark on this journey. You will be meeting many new and interesting people. This will only make you even more well rounded! You're great as you are, but I am very proud of you for taking this step. Love, she

Kelli Matthews said...

How exciting! I hope everything went well. I can't wait to hear about it.

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