life lessons learned in italian culinary school


LA ESPERIENZA experience

If there was ever a time that I thought I was “the shit” in the kitchen at my school or while on my internship, it was often quickly repressed by a complete and absolute failure on my part. I failed all the time in school (i.e. to produce a correctly salted risotto, to get the perfect fish fillet, to julianne carrots). I learned from these mistakes by practicing repetition. Let me just tell you that there’s a hell of a steep learning curve, but with lots and lots of practice (approximately 10,000 hours), you can become a pro.

Becoming a great anything takes experience. In terms of becoming a chef, I am 100% at the bottom of this “food chain”, but I know that my passion in this art will keep me alive. A little hard work ain’t hurt nobody!

Note: I still suck at julianning carrots, but I managed to bust a few decent ones out for my final exam at school…buuutt dont give me too much credit because I also stole some from the kid next to me. Thanks Dimitri! ;)

LA UMILIÁ humility

I will always remember the female chef from Puglia who presented to us for a guest chef lesson (These 8 hour lessons occurred once per week at ALMA, introducing prestigous guest chefs from all of the regions of Italy.). She is currently very successful at her restaurant and beyond talented at what she does. Yet, she always feels that she can improve. I couldn’t believe when she told us that during her off season from her restaurant, she performs a stage/internship at another restaurant in Italy for a few weeks. During this stage, she is completely unpaid and does whatever the head chef directs her to do. She does this because she knows that in the industry, there are people that know more than she does about certain techniques and trades. While she could so easily sit in familiarity in what’s comfortable, instead she perseveres to encounter knowledge and experience. That lady from Puglia humbles herself to learn and that’s a lesson I’ll take with me forever.

IL FEDE faith

There were many times during my 6 month stay in Italy that I missed my fiancé, family & friends, and just my overall life back in the US. There were times when I’d become anxious and wonder what the hell I’m going to do with my life. When I started feeling this way, I decided to turn to God for help. I put the time into studying my faith in books, the mass, praying the rosary, writing in my mass journal, etc. (my favorite prayer is Psalms 23- “The Lord is my Shepard. I shall not want…”) I now know that I feel happier and less anxious when I am pursuing my faith and trusting in God . I know that He will lead me through paths of righteousness. This trust is easier said than done at times, but I know it’s the best way for me.

LA SEMPLICITÁ simplicity

In my life, I strive to grow in wisdom. I hope to develop wisdom not only in my faith, but in all other aspects of my life. As I get a little wiser, I’m realizing that a life without complications helps to prioritize. A life of simplicity is the key to success.

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