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Hygiene, Safety and Admin - Culinary School Diaries, Week 1

This week marks my first foray into official culinary training, written from the lovely Devon town of Ashburton.

Tuesday: The week started with the inevitable admin that comes with starting any course, making sure we all understood what to expect from the next 16 weeks, and what is expected from us as students. The cohort this year is apparently fairly different to the usual; as I walk in (last, but still on time I might add), nine men, all between the ages of 18 and 27 watch me. We learn all about the course structure, exams and go through some do's and don't's of our time there, as well as receiving our timetables for the first four weeks. I'm excited to see that once we start in the kitchens next Monday, we're getting right into it, seemingly doing about 8-10 different recipes each day - but more on that next week!

Wednesday: Today was the first day of learning for the "Supervising Food Safety (Level 3)" course, and touched on topics such as microbiology and food spoilage.

Thursday: Learning continued on, into the storage and temperature control of food, as well as food safety legislation and the importance of HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) in the kitchen.

Friday: Today was the final day of learning, covering pest control and personal hygiene. I learnt that whilst it is considered perfectly ethical to poison rodents and insects, it is not so well accepted to poison bird pests. The exam took place in the afternoon and consisted of 45 multiple choice questions on the topics from the last 3 days. I would like to express my disappointment at this exam, as despite the excellent teaching we received, many of us taking the exam (myself included) were really not fans of the poor wording of many of the questions. But we'll see how we did at some point in the next month!

And now for a weekend off before it's back to the kitchen life on Monday

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