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How To Make a Chef

How To Make a Chef

Abby Olitzky wants to be a chef

Abby Olitzky | Chef's Blade

Combine equal parts ambition, food knowledge and passion; gently fold in an aesthetic eye and strong arms. Bake in the oven, no peaking, and watch the chef rise. Lightly sprinkle a little ego for garnish and your chef is complete. Serve and enjoy while hot.

Now, if I can only follow my own recipe. I have ambition, food knowledge and a whole lot of passion. I have an aesthetic eye and I am working on the strong arms. Even though I have these qualities, I am not a chef, or at least not yet.

I think this is a faulty recipe – there must be steps missing. How about an education? Whether it be from restaurant experience or from a school, it is simply necessary in order to become a chef.

My name is Abby and I want to become a chef. No, this is not the beginning of a CAA meeting, where Chef’s Addicts Anonymous helps treat people who are addicted to becoming chefs… although if they had a meeting group, I would be in it.

I am a San Francisco born, crazy-about-food aspiring chef. I currently attend cooking school at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City where I am attempting to follow another sort of recipe: Module 1, then 2, up until 6 where I will finish by externing at a restaurant. (I have just finished up Module 1, where I have learned the fundamentals and graduated from making soups and classical sauces.)

In this weekly column, I want to share with you my cooking school adventures: What I am learning, cooking, who I am meeting, how it is changing the way I look at food. I’ll tell you about my inspirations, and of course my trials and tribulations. You can expect: Cuts, burns, and a whole lot of attitude!

I’ll write on what it means to be a chef, why there’s a need for perfect stock and how to get it, as well as dabble in some interviews from inspirational New York chefs, faculty and students.

What are some necessary ingredients in the making of a chef that aren’t in my recipe? Let me know…