This past week started a three month internship with Katie B. Katie is not coming to us out of culinary school. She is instead a highly motivated interested and passionate home cook who wants to see if the culinary business is for her. Typically it is not our first choice to take an intern without some formal training or even restaurant experience, but we were very impressed with Katie’s desire. Heck, one must start someplace and all that enthusiasm might as well be here! So we said yes to three months worth of dedicated hands-on learning, doing whatever is needed or assigned.
In exchange she gets room (that comes with a bicycle) and board in a small quaint most desirable beach town! Our little studio is as small as can be, but handy to work—she comes up stairs! Board consists of whatever we have. Her room has a coffee maker, small dorm room fridge and a microwave oven, so not much cooking can happen there, but then she really has cooked all day and gets first pick for her meals. Then of course she just brings her dirty dishes upstairs. She is free to come up after class at night and forage in our walk in refrigerator for fresh made dinner show remnants. We don’t anticipate a lack of choices.
An EVOO internship requires homework; usually in the form of looking at the culinary origins, definitions and even seasonality /availability of different ingredients or methods. Sometimes they are asked to read a book, such as the Art of War, or The making of a chef, etc. We require interns to start the day with a note pad for their “list” one-on-one with me, and then we talk again at the end of the day. In our daily debrief, I want to know what three things they learned; and they must keep of journal of these items. At first interns have no problem with this, but as time goes by, I really see some creative thinking by the end of their tenure with us. Because they do this five times a week on a daily basis usually totaling 180 new learnings, and because I require full sentences, well articulated and documented, they get pretty good by the end without repeating a single learning. Of course when they go back to their professional school they have lots of things to say when the counselor asks, “what did you learn?”
As for Katie B, we have ask for one more duty since she is not reporting back to a culinary school. We’ve asked her to “blog” with us her experiences. And the jury is still out whether or not she will return to her former occupation, that of massage therapist.