Yesterday was graduation day. I can't believe i made it through 6 months of culinary school. Surprisingly, I didn't feel at all sad. Not that I won't miss going to class every day and being around cool people who share my interests. I just felt more proud than anything else. I was extremely focused and disciplined during my time at FCI...which meant very little drinking or late night partying because I always wanted to be fresh for class. I'm paying thousands of dollars to be there, I wanted to be there mentally and physically (not hung over.) Congrats to the Culinary Arts class of 2009!
I took away some valuable lessons during my time at FCI. I'll share them with those of you who didn't have the opportunity to endure 600 hours of intensive training.
1. Taste everything. Repeatedly.
2. Salt is your friend.
3. Never sacrifice quality. Take pride in what you're cooking.
4. Cook with your heart.
5. Always strive to be better and faster.
To celebrate, I had dinner at Scarpetta.....a place I've been dying to try for months and haven't been able to get reservations. I took the chance that it was relatively early on a Wednesday and not too busy...luckily I got seated right away. It was too dark to take pictures but I had an amazing meal there. I'd have to say it's on my top 5 list of favorite restaurants in New York. I had zero complaints...the bread basket was delicious (complete with a trio of olive oil, butter and some sort of tomato-eggplant caponata), the wine suggestion was excellent, my appetizer of braised short rib and risotto was perfect....AND the infamous spaghetti was the best I have ever had! It was so simple...just tomatoes, basil and cheese, I think. I was in heaven. Of course I had dessert...a chocolate and vanilla parfait with biscotti and hazelnut milkshake...perfect way to end the meal. Oh and to top it off, I got to meet the chef and see the kitchen! I was one happy camper.
355 West 14th St.
New York, NY 10014