What program are you part of at Coop Tech? Why did you choose to join Coop Tech?
The program that I’m in at Coop Tech is culinary arts. I chose this program because I have experience working in the kitchen, and I want to learn more about cooking so I could cook for myself and my family.
What new information have you learned so far? What do you still wish to learn?
Some new information that I learned so far is baking methods and knowing different measurements and different conversions that we use when we are baking. I do still wish to learn more about conversions because it’s important to know when to use them and how to use them. I also learned how to make your knife sharp; it’s a little dangerous, but it’s important to know how to do it.
How has your experience been?
The experience in the program has been wonderful. So far everyone who works in the building has been really nice. The staff members always say hi and greet you when you enter the building, and the classmates that I work with are not bad at all. I get along fine with them and also my chef. I don’t regret being in this program. It’s a really good school to carry on a career.
How do you think participating in Coop Tech will help you in the future?
Participating in Coop Tech will help me in the future because if I ever want to pursue a career in the food industry, I will remember some of the techniques that I have learned in the program, and it will never be forgotten. As I go on, I could also cook for myself too if I have to.
Are there any individual projects you wish to pursue with what you’ve learned from the program thus far or with what you will learn?
Yes there are some projects I wish to learn starting with different types of chefs that handle and make different types of food like pastry chefs and more. If I want to become a chef, I will have to know the requirements and how that job pays if it’s worth it. For the most part I would love to learn more about the food industry because I think it’s interesting to know how this job will benefit you and if it will be a lifetime job to stay in.
Could you tell us a bit about a few of the dishes you have made? Such as the steps involved, what you learned from the experiences, and some of the challenges you faced when working through the steps of making the recipe.
Some of the dishes I have made so far during the few months into the program are empanadas, stir fry, chicken wraps, apple pie, blueberry pie, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. One of my favorite dishes I like was the empanadas. The steps I did to make this was first I made fresh dough. I rolled it out with a rolling pin then I cooked the beef and also added vegetables to make it a little bit more healthy. When the beef was ready, it was time to place the beef onto the dough and close it up, so I could deep fry them for 10 minutes. After it was done, it came out brown and crispy, and it was really good.
One of the challenges I face being in the kitchen and following the recipes is telling the difference between tablespoons and teaspoons. It sometimes gets confusing because there was a time when my team and I messed up on making the apple pie, and it turned out salty. It only required 1 teaspoon of salt and one of my teammates added too much of it. However, it was okay. We just went back where we went wrong and reviewed the teaspoon amount. One thing I learned is that it’s okay to mess up while you follow a recipe; the only thing is to trust yourself even if you’re not sure.