Tuesday, 1 September 2009

So it began...

- Monday, 31 August 2009

I applied for a chef apprentice programme not a long time ago and I was accepted. After being unsuccessful in several different occasions, I thought this was going to be my time: to live in London and working for one of the country's top chef. But there was a problem with the working permit. And after two very long weeks of investigation, I finally received the email. It said: "...Michael, I understand that you will be disappointed with my response... I wish you well for the future and thank you for your interest..."

I was very disappointed. But I always believe that everything happens for a reason. It's just not my time yet.

Just before I went to bed last night, I asked myself, "so what am I gonna do now?" I'm definitely gonna keep on looking for different opportunity. I'm not giving up. I can't give up. I won't give up. I've got to do something.

I am very grateful to have parents who only want to give the best education for their children. My goal to pursue a career in the field of culinary has been a part of my plans since my early teen years. Unfortunately, culinary school was way over my college fund.

And something occurred into my mind. If I can't enrol myself into a culinary school, I'm gonna train myself. I've heard stories about chefs who have never been to a culinary school but still made it. They taught themselves how to cook. But how? What did they do? Just cook every day? I don't know...

I turned into my bookshelf and I was looking through some recipe books for inspiration what to have for tomorrow's dinner. Rachael Ray's Buffalo Turkey Burgers with Blue Cheese Dressing? Or Giada De Laurentiis' Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetable?

And then I saw 'Cook with Jamie: My Guide to Making You a Better Cook.' YES! That's exactly what I want to do. I want to be better.

I've always been a fan of Jamie Oliver. He seems like a cool, down-to-earth-kind-of guy. If we were friends, I think we'll get along really well. I didn't make it to his 'fifteen foundation' (I thought was application was pretty good). But now I can; with the help of this book. And Jamie is my personal mentor. There, I have decided: I'm not gonna waste my time whilst waiting. I'm gonna train my self and sharpen my skill and be prepared for the future. For the next 365 days, I'll be cooking through all of the recipes in the book. I don't know how many of them because I haven't counted them yet (there are 448 pages in the book). I know this is a big commitment. But I also believe you never know what you can do until you try.

So, tomorrow's dinner, my very first recipe, I'm gonna start with Roasted Chicken Breast with Cherry Tomatoes and Asparagus. YUM!

- Today

Day 1, Recipe 1

Work was busy. It definetly felt like September. Many students are back to University. But I like it better when it's busy. And I also received the invite for staff christmas party (yes, christmas party).

During lunchtime, I went shopping for the ingredients; asparagus, cherry tomatoes, rosemary and I also bought the organic, free range chicken breasts (which was not cheap, but I'm sure Jamie would approve).

It's finally six o'clock and it's home time. When I got home, I put on my apron, opened the book to page 187 and preheated the oven to 200 c. Jamie says, 'Make these recipes for one in a snug-fitting baking dish or, to save on washing-up, a little tinfoil tray.' And that's what I did. I made myself a litle tinfoil tray and I started assembling the dish which was easy.

In a bowl, put one chicken breast, trimmed sticks of asparagus, halved cherry tomatoes and rosemary. Toss everything together with sea salt, black pepper and olive oil. Put the veg into the foil tray and place the chicken and rosemary sprig on top. Add some white wine and cook in the middle oven for 25 to 35 minutes. Serve drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

It was delish! The veg was tender and the chicken was so moist. I can't believe I haven't made this before.

I cannot wait for tomorrow's dinner.

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