Women belong in the kitchen. As do men, children, and some of the cleaner pets. Kitchens are awesome. THAT’S WHERE FOOD IS! Plus, they have machines that make both heat and cold so you’re pretty much set for any weather imaginable. It’s no wonder that some people want to spend their whole lives in kitchens. And to do that, many of them opt to go to culinary school, just like Kolika and Rebecca. I spoke to them to get to know more about the only school that’d be foolish enough to give me a knife, and I’ve learned that…
Culinary School Is The Ultimate Party School
“Rockstar” chefs might be a cliché of reality TV but surely this is all just an act. Yelling, drinking, swearing, wrapping your dick with shiso leaves to add some umami flavor to your fucking… Professional and aspiring chefs don’t really behave like that, right?
“Kids would sneak off and have sex in the storerooms at school! I walked in on a couple one time,” Rebecca explains, making me look like a total punk-ass chump. “Going to the dorms you could get a drink since there were people smuggling in booze, and one guy and his roommate made a gravity bong out of a 5 gallon water bottle and used it in their bathtub. It was like spring break all year round.”
“Like a lot of high stress jobs, food service is rife with drug use.”
”It was so common to see people come to school drunk, or tripping on acid or mushrooms,” and the worst part is you can’t do anything about that last one because how will you ban MUSHROOMS in a culinary school? Can’t be done. That’s an iron-clad loophole right there.
It was the same with coke and weed, which blended in so easily with the school’s décor thanks to their uncanny resemblance to flour and oregano. “I once found a pack of cigarettes on top of a bank of lockers that had 3 Newports and a joint in it. I found a bag of weed on the sidewalk outside of the pastry kitchen and twice found bags of white powder, once in a storeroom and once in the cafeteria under a table.”
But to get fucked up at a culinary school, there were other options besides snorting random stuff you find on the floor, as a lot of the kids at Rebecca’s school apparently also dealt drugs from their dorms. So, if you ever find yourself really, REALLY craving a particular dish from your favorite restaurant, remember that it might not actually be that good. It might just be that the chef came in hungover one day and accidentally seasoned it with heroin instead of salt.
There Are Some Hilarious Cliques In Culinary Schools
You ever seen a chef’s hat? Looks like a circumcision gone horribly wrong or the hat they’d put on a Smurf named Dorky. Point is, you cannot look cool wearing it, so the very notion of there being cliques within culinary schools is about as laughable as their hats. And yet…
“See, the chef is the master of ALL,” Kolika says. “Meat. Fish. Veg. Sauce. A veritable encyclopedia must be IN YOUR HEAD AT ALL TIMES. Pastry, though, is looked down upon because it’s seen as the people who want the title of chef but don’t want to put in the real work.”
You may have gathered by now that Kolika was a savory chef, which at her school made her something akin to a jock, while all the bakers were more like Goth mathletes wearing abstinence-only T-shirts. “When I was in culinary school, there was an extremely apparent difference between pastry and savoury students. The pastry students were slow, meticulous, often sour-faced and bitchy that they had to touch raw meat.”
“A lot of the pastry students were really annoying. This is why we hated them. This is why I hated them.”
But unlike most “bully”-like situations, this animosity actually IS caused by the savory kids being secretly a little jealous of the pastry crowd (whereas most real-world bullies bully because a drunk Mickey once beat the crap out of them at Disneyland.) Kolika elaborates:
“Savoury sees pastry as not real cooking, because they don’t see it as hardcore. The truth is they’re afraid to do pastry because it’s HARD.”
“Do you know why it’s hard? MATH. There is a SHIT TON BUTT-FUCK CUM BUCKETS LOAD OF MATH in pastry. You’ll never hear a savoury guy jump up and offer to do the pastry cook’s job, though, because he’s terrified. Too many components, too much precision, too much math, whatever.” I’d say this makes culinary school the perfect setup for a Jump Street sequel but they already made that joke so… Bababooye? Nothing?
You Learn That Women Aren’t Really Welcomed In The Kitchen
Cooking has often been seen as a feminine activity (because you know what’s REALLY manly? Fucking starving to death. Get them bone gains, bro!) And yet, for the longest time, the majority of professional and celebrity chefs were men. Why was that? According to Kolika, it’s because “the professional kitchen is a horrible, nasty, sexist place. It’s a fucking boys club.” Not literally, but with how some kitchen staff act, it’s certainly not a fucking girls club.
“I was often just as loud and gross as they were,” Kolika says. “I could hang with the guys, so to speak, but I never got beers with them or anything. I remember I was once asked ‘Kolika when you gonna come to my place for some chaka-chaka’ and then some fat guy made a thrusting gesture. Now, your modern woman might complain to HR, go on a little tumblrina rant, maybe even act appalled that would happen to her. This is not me. ‘Nah. I know what you make, too, and I know you can’t afford me.’ Then they all laughed and continued being guys and I went on with my work.”
In short, women can definitely cut it in a professional kitchen but it’s a lot like prison: once you’re inside, you gotta start shanking bitches to survive.
This attitude can often start in the classroom, as Rebecca found out: “At school the assumption was that women bake cakes, and the boys cook meat. I had more than one chef tell me that I should switch majors to pastry arts … I had a chef instructor in culinary school that would not talk to me. If I asked him a question, he would turn to one of the guys near me and answer to them. He treated all the women in the class this way. And by that, I mean all 4 of us out of a class of about 40!”
In conclusion, assholes that tell women to go make them a sandwich apparently also don’t want them to go to school for it. So it’s perfectly OK to serve them bread with asbestos and old cigarette butts. Hey, should have let them study it professionally, buddy. That cancer is on you.
Sometimes, Culinary School Students Organize Food Fights To Relax
Food fights in schools can only really exist in movies because… Well, when was the last time you heard a student say: “Oh I usually get so much food anyway, it’s fine to waste this food by throwing it at my friends.” This must be double true in culinary schools where you have to make the food with your own two hands so you probably wouldn’t want to just waste it. People at, say, a Ford plant don’t unwind by hosting impromptu demolition derbies, and not just because those things aren’t really big in Asia (commentary!)
I mean, just look at these beautiful pies!
Would you really want to smash them into your friend’s face? Actually, according to Kolika, the answer is “Hells yes!” She elaborates:
“On the first day, we made fruit pies. On the second day, we made these custard pies. Lemon meringue, chocolate custard, pumpkin… the whole nine yards. We’re allowed to take our pies home, so at this point all of us have like ten pies in our fridges already. Are we going to take the pies home today? Of course! But that’s too many. I don’t know why, but somehow my friend Donnie and I decided to pie each other in the face. Suddenly, the whole class is involved, and when our Chef-instructor gets wind of it, he just sort of rolls his eyes and walks away. He knows better than to tell us ‘no.’ Long story short, there ends up being a video on YouTube of us pie-ing each other in the face.”