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Intensive Week Experience

Intensive: Culinary Arts
Shohjahon M.
Final projects at ICE

My journey of first time experience of intensive week.


Intensives are week-long events where we do activities based on the activity we chose. For example, I chose culinary arts so for the whole week we got to learn about cooking and go to places.


Day 1 

On day one, we went to Manhattan to visit the Institute of Culinary Arts (ICE), located in Manhattan. We first used the D train then transferred to the F train and it took about 40 minutes to an hour. At the entrance there was a table with the cakes they made. After, we got to see the kitchen and their fermenting station and baking station. After the tour, we got to eat at the nearby food places, and after eating we all met up near the train station and went back to school and watched an episode of a show called “The Bear” . It’s about cooking and about a chef with his cousin and them working at a restaurant. When we finished the episode, the school day ended and we all went home. I especially enjoyed going to ICE (Institute of Culinary Education) and seeing how they study what kind of equipment they use and the kinds of projects they do.


Day 2

On the second day, we went to Pier 57 which was like a food court place. We used the D train then transferred to the A train. It took about an hour. There were a lot of food stalls, and further down there was a lounge area to sit and relax. On the pier there was Indian food, Asian food, and Middle Eastern food. The food was delicious. I got some noodles with chicken and a soda but it was pretty expensive. We stayed for about an hour before we gathered outside the pier and stood in a circle and we each discussed which foods we tried, which was our favorite and why after that we were allowed to go home ourselves or go with the teachers if we didn’t know the way back. This day wasn’t as fun as the first day but I still enjoyed going to a place that I’d never been to before and trying food from other cultures. I was bothered by the prices.


Day 3

Sadly I wasn’t there on the third day, but I heard that they did a blindfolded food tasting and they went to a college.


Day 4

We were planning for Friday because on Friday we would prepare a full course meal (entree, main dish, dessert), so we got into groups and started planning on what we would make. We made a list of groceries to get. After planning, we went to the nearest Key Foods which was about three blocks away from the school and shopped for the things we needed and we had a budget of 40 dollars. When we got all our stuff we waited for the teachers and then went back to the school and put some of the food in the fridge and the rest we left on the table after that we went home. The fourth day was okay. We didn’t do much, we just went kinda fun shopping but when we got back to class it was boring because we didn’t do much.


Day 5

We started the day by getting our stuff from the fridge and prepping the food by seasoning or peeling and cutting and gathering the tools we’ll need. After finishing prepping, we started cooking. My team and I decided to make steak and fries for the main dish, a Greek salad for our entree, and a cheesecake for dessert. I started cooking the steak and I struggled because I never cooked steak before so this was the first experience. I didn’t fully cook it the first time so I had to reheat the pan and cook it again and thankfully it came out medium well. Overall people liked it but they said it needed more seasoning. I also cooked the fries and I made fries before but they never came out the way I wanted so I got some advice from the teachers which helped a lot and people liked my fries a lot which was great to hear. My partner that was making the cheesecake didn’t struggle to make it because he has experience baking so he knew what to do and didn’t need much help. He did have some issues like the cheesecake not being in the fridge long enough so it was ready and it was too soft but he quickly fixed that by just leaving it in the fridge for a bit longer and a lot of people enjoyed his cheesecake. The partner that had to make the salad didn’t have to do much and he relatively got the easiest job because he had to cut a couple of veggies and just season them which is a pretty easy job, but he said that he had forgotten how to cut and do things so we basically how to teach him how to cut and what he should do next. After finishing cooking we presented our food and got lots of positive feedback and some feedback on what to improve. After that they separated the class and sent them to another room and people from other intensives came and we had to present to each other what our intensive was about.


The fifth day was a bit chaotic because I was making a dish that I never made before and one of my partners was struggling with his dish. The power for the electric stoves kept going out so we lost a lot of time to cook. There wasn’t enough stoves for everyone so some people had to share or wait for someone to finish. I had to give my stove to a person before I finished so I had to wait for them to be done then resume cooking my food which took up a lot of time and I was one of the last few to finish cooking cause of the amount of time that I lost which bothered me cause when presenting the food I felt disappointed because I felt like I could’ve done a better job at organizing/cooking/time management but even with all these struggles I still had an amazing time and would probably do this again. 

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