This is a PG-rated post. I swear.
This month, I started waking up at 7AM every Saturday. I need to allow an hour to get to the Flatiron area of Manhattan, normally a 30 minutes trip. But, Saturdays and the MTA subway don’t always play nice together. Nine hours later I return home, tired and often sweaty. But, even on a recent Saturday, my birthday, I had no complaints. In fact, I couldn’t be more thrilled. I’m fulfilling a dream, one dormant for decades. I’ve started culinary school.
This year, my ‘birthday suit’ is a chef’s uniform!
I’ve enrolled part-time in the chef training program at the Natural Gourmet Institute (NGI), the first nationally accredited culinary school dedicated to healthful cooking. The dream of culinary school became a reality thanks to a joint scholarship offered by NGI with the Academy of Dietetics and Nutrition and the Food and Culinary Professionals practice group. Winning the scholarship filled me with gratitude and the sense that a potentially defining chapter of my life was about to begin.
Look at my gorgeous new NGI-ISSUED knife set. Happy Birthday to me!
The NGI curriculum is mostly plant-based and focuses on ingredients which are whole foods, organic, local and seasonal. I will learn all the basics of culinary training, such as knife skills and basic cooking techniques. But, rather than learning classic French sauces and how to butcher a side of beef, I will learn more healthful skills such as gluten-free baking, how to work with sea vegetables, fermenting, nut cheeses and much, much more.
When I complete the program, I will be a certified chef and culinary nutritionist. I will be able to not just make dietary recommendations, but also to help people bring those dietary changes into their kitchen and onto their table. As a cook, my ability to transform unhealthy dishes, maximize nutritional density and my creativity with whole foods is about to take off. I can’t wait and I hope you will follow along!