Cody Fitchett: Culinary class for bakers

Cody Fitchett with his team and the desserts they made for the semester showcase. Courtesy photo

This past week was my last week of Fundamentals with Chef Egan. This is truly a bittersweet moment because I loved learning for 15 weeks with a chef who is talented, smart and interesting.

On Wednesday, we prepped for our semester showcase, which was held on Friday. For the showcase, we worked in groups of three since our class is so small. Each team had to make genoise sponge cake, eclairs, ice cream, blueberry muffins, lemon pound cake, apple strip, and creme brulee. This was quite the challenge even with three people in our group.

On Friday, we finished assembling every piece of the final project and at 5 p.m. our doors opened for a buffet to other students here at The Culinary Institute of America. Before any of the vulturing students came in, the Baking & Pastry Arts deans came in and tasted our products and gave us constructive criticism so that we will know what to do better for the next showcase we have.

Friday was a rough day for me, saying goodbye to such an amazing chef who has taught me how to be a professional in this industry, how to properly make anything and everything, and that the way to be successful in this industry is to do exactly what your boss says. Chef Egan is my role model, my mentor and my first chef here at the CIA. I never say “goodbye,” I always say “see ya later” because I know I’ll be back up in Bakeshop Three soon.

My next class that I start today is called Cafe Savory; it’s the culinary class for bakers. In this class, I will learn proper knife cuts, how to cut up a chicken into eight parts, and how to season correctly. I am excited for this next semester to start. I can’t believe it’s already been 15 weeks here at school. Before I know it, I will be working in a five-star resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

As always I wish you best of luck in all your endeavors, and may God bless you and your family.

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 chefcodyfitchett@gmail.com