We are now beginning to wrap up the first semester and it has been a huge shift to adapt to a kitchen that fosters a learning environment versus a production kitchen. I am learning so much in terms of my skills and how to utilize those skills in a team environment. Most importantly, I have learned that not everyone knows what I know and I certainly don’t know everything. (Funny story… I recently had friends down and they thought I knew how to make perfect pancakes…. boy did I show them)
Everyday there is a new task to grapple with and a new technique to master. For the first 6 weeks, I was in a Hospitality Studies class before transitioning to the kitchen. This encouraged us to look at the person we are and see what may be aiding or hindering us in the process of becoming the leader and chef we aspire to be. This career goes much deeper than being able to create elegant desserts or decorate cakes. In the culinary industry, success centers around the person that you are, the integrity you hold yourself to, and your interactions with the world around you.
I am learning that culinary arts requires a team (this is a somewhat foreign concept to me). While working at the school bakery, Layers, I have been forced to adjust to sharing my space with other people. The most difficult variable in this equation is that the people I am sharing it with are nothing like me. Most of them haven’t worked in a production style bakery, or a bakery/ coffee bar/ high school hangout (AKA Aspen). I have never truly understood the phrase, team work makes the dream work, until now.
It honestly does take a village to raise a bakery (or something like that) and I am beginning to see that we can accomplish so much more as a team than as individuals. What started off as the biggest frustration is teaching me more and more every single day. Only 7 more class days in Layers…but who is counting?!