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My Final Months at ICC

Amanda Neal
ICC Student, Professional Culinary Arts plus Farm-to-Table

It’s hard to believe that I’m halfway through level six at the International Culinary Center, and that I’m less than a month away from graduating from culinary school! It’s been a crazy, busy and exciting five months, and I’m excited to be at the tail end of my education and ready to enter the food industry as a professional chef.

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Level five at ICC is the first level where we actually cook at the school’s restaurant: L’Ecole. It’s a fully functioning, professional kitchen and restaurant where all the school’s students cook dishes for patrons. It’s just like any other working kitchen; you prep food for lunch or dinner, run service, then break down and clean up. Because I am a day student, my classmates and I work lunch service every day. The restaurant maintains a steady amount of covers, and it’s a great atmosphere to learn kitchen etiquette and technique if you’ve never experienced working in a kitchen before. You also get to experience working at every station: starting with entremetier, then garde manger, poissonnier, saucier and finally patissier.

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Level six is exactly the same as level five, except we have a few written tests to review information we learned in levels one and level two. We are also challenged with a whole new menu – brand new dishes to learn. These dishes will become what we’ll have to prepare for our final exam. In this level, it is important not to miss even one class, because every day is an opportunity to practice creating each dish. The more you get to practice, the more prepared you will be for your final. The final exam seems really stressful, but after a month of practicing and studying, cooking the dishes should come naturally. With only a few weeks left, our final is quickly approaching, and I’m more excited then ever to graduate from ICC!