Cody Fitchett: Mother sauces, cutting up a chicken

Cody Fitchett

Cody Fitchett

Hello to all of the Shenandoah Valley, it’s week 18 here at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. It just feels like yesterday that I moved into Hudson Hall and I started working on my dream here at the CIA.

This past week in Cafe Savory, we made homemade pasta, pan-fried chicken, and made the five mother sauces as we call them in the culinary world. The five mother sauces are bechamel, tomato, espagnole, veloute, and hollandaise. Each one of those five sauces can be made into hundreds of different sauces by adding just simple ingredients.

Cafe Savory is a lot of fun and it’s a great change from baking every day. Even though I love baking and it’s what I want to make a career of, it’s nice not having to measure out everything and just throw ingredients together sometimes.

I have learned that it is cheaper and more cost effective if you buy a whole chicken and cut it up yourself. You can make your own chicken stock and freeze the other cuts of meat you’re not going to use that week.

I can’t believe this week is my last week of Cafe Savory. Once you get into your second semester here at the CIA, your classes are only three weeks at a time and you have five kitchen classes instead of just having a fundamentals class for 15 weeks.

This week I am helping out with my second career fair. I help baking and pastry arts chef Kristin Egan with organizing the buffet and replenishing food for the employers who came to career fair. This week I will also get to meet up with my externship again and talk about going to Palm Beach, Florida, this winter.

I am honestly living the dream here at school and I have been blessed with so many
great opportunities. I am keeping busy. In addition to helping with career fair, I am helping one of my chefs write a cookbook, interviewing to become a residential assistant to gain leadership and more responsibility. I am learning many new things and plan on sharing them with you all when I come home for summer break. As always, it is great to write to my fellow Shenandoahians and God bless.

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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