Early on in Culinary Foundations III class, Chef Instructor Dan Fluharty (right) promised students a "cooking marathon that gives you a real world feel."
He has fulfilled that promise.
Today, we finish the marathon with two meals of five parts each. The first, with a chicken breast at its center, must be completed and presented in 45 minutes. The second, for which I drew New York steak, must be completed and presented in one hour.
All 10 of us should be ready. The chefs have been working us out for 18 weeks. In the last six weeks, we have had intensive, timed cooking exercises almost daily. In that six weeks, we have prepped, cooked and plated two dozen full meals, including three-course offerings and all rooted in the classic French techniques and flavors we have been learning.
We can see the finish line ahead, and we must run hard through it.
The real world lies just beyond.