Cody Fitchett: Confidence grows in the kitchen

Cody Fitchett
This is an eclair with chocolate fondant. Courtesy photo by Cody Fitchett

Hello everyone, I hope you are enjoying the lovely weather in Shenandoah County. My mother calls me every day and rubs it in my face that the weather there is like 60-70 degrees and I sit in my dorm writing this blog with the temperature below 25 degrees this morning!

This past week was really the first time I have felt confident in the kitchen since I have been here. Now, I know that it has been almost six weeks, but getting used to a whole new kitchen takes time. So, last week we had our review week, which means the chef didn’t demonstrate anything beforehand, and we had to remake everything we have made the previous four weeks! The list of baked goods we made were eclairs, pastry cream, pot de creme, and Genoise sponge cake.

During class last week I received many compliments on my products from my chef and overall it was a great baking week.

For the past couple of weeks I have been telling myself that I want to find a church up here in the small town of Hyde Park, so my friend Camile and I went to church on Sunday at “Hyde Park United Methodist.” Let me tell you, those people were the most welcoming and down to earth people I have ever met. They welcomed us in like we have been there for years, and played great contemporary music.

In a nutshell, this week has been great. Every week I’m falling more in love with this school and the people who are in it. Next week I am starting a blog for the Culinary Institute of America and will be writing about specific topics for incoming students to read to get a better understanding before they arrive on campus.

Also, this upcoming Sunday is my second “welcome team” appearance, which means I help new students move into their dorms like people did for me. As I end this article, I think that I am diving head first into this new experience and I’m trying to make as many memories as possible with my amazing fellow culinarians.

Well, it’s time to go to my 10:45 meeting, see you guys next week!

Cody Fitchett, of Fort Valley, is a recent graduate of Triplett Tech in Shenandoah County. He is sharing his thoughts here each week as he attends the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Email him at

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