I Don't Know How to Cook

Nope, not an attempt at modesty; it's just the honest to God truth.

If I made a chart of my current diet, the predominant food groups would include fresh fruit (no preparation involved!), omelettes (the only thing I feel competent making apart from boiling water for pasta), and burgers (one of the perks of my part-time job).

The idea of cooking scares me, because the very reason I love pastry so much is for its precision. I get that a lot of chefs - amateur, professional, and everything in between - are the opposite. Cuisine gives you the chance to improvise, freestyle, be spontaneous. I, on the other hand, like order and following procedures. Of course, having said that, it's kind of a miracle that I ever hated chemistry lab so much...

I may be training to be a chef now - but only in desserts. A handful of students at my school do both cuisine and pastry, but for the rest of us it often feels like they might as well exist as two separate industries. I sometimes wish I had gone for the Grand Diplôme; that is until I heard about one of the more traumatizing lessons from a cuisine student: deboning a rabbit. (Don't worry, it comes with the skin already off, but they had to decapitate it which I guess freaked some people out). So I think I'll stick to making tarts, cakes and sugar sculptures.

This weekend I'm headed to Lyon for Sirha, the world's premiere event for food and hospitality. One of my chefs at school is competing for the French team in the bi-annual world pastry cup, but there is also a parallel competition, the Bocuse d'Or, for cuisine. (If you're really interested and/or bored this weekend I can provide links for live streaming).

Who knows? Maybe I'll learn something from watching the masters.