[infobox bg=”blue” color=”black” opacity=”on” subtitle=”Talliage: Week 1″]Adventures in Culinary School[/infobox]

My dream of dreams has come true!  I started culinary school at The International Culinary Center in New York Citttayyy this week.  I’m a Level 1 Career student getting edumacated in the Classic Culinary Arts with a focus on Farm to Table cuisine.  Essentially, I’m being trained in the French culinary arts at the professional level.

My program began on Thursday this week, and we focused on talliage (the practice of cutting vegetables into uniform size and shape so that they cook evenly in addition to lookin’ pretty) in addition to ServSafe regulations from the National Restaurant Association.  Basic stuff every culinary arts student must know.  Let’s dive right into talliage, shall we?

I was given a carrot, onion, turnip, leek, and shallot by Chef Instructor Veronica (she is a badass chef, ladies and gents).  After watching her breezy demo of perfectly cut and shaped vegetables, we were allowed to use our knives for the first time.  I have quite a bit of experience using a chef’s knife and know how to hold it properly, but cutting with precision so that all your shapes are even and lovely is challenging, especially with Day 1 nerves running through your veins.  I’m comfortable with a knife, but by no means an expert.  I ended up cutting myself twice during my talliage, the only student to do so out of my 13 chefs-in-training (embarrassing, ah).  The knives given to me in my set are incredibly, incredibly sharp – especially the paring knife.  Chef Instructor April bandaged me up however after each poke, (you wear a bandage and these funny finger condoms on top to prevent the bandage from slipping off) and I was back to the cutting board.

You can see my talliage board above, with the correct techniques labeled next to each vegetable.  In addition, a bit of vocabulary for those who are interested…

Traditional Talliage and Nomenclature

[tabgroup layout=”vertical”] [tab title=”Émincer”]To thinly slice food[/tab] [tab title=”Ciseler”]To finely dice onions and shallots. This technique prevents the juices from coming out of the onion being cut.[/tab] [tab title=”Julienne”]A batonnet (stick) that is 1-2mm in width and 6-7cm in length[/tab] [tab title=”Brunoise”]A smaller form of a dice, cut from julienne veggies ; 1-2mm X 1-2mm[/tab] [tab title=”Jardinière”]A batonnet that is 1/2 cm in width and 4-5 cm in lenght[/tab] [tab title=”Macédoine”]Cut from jardinière veggies, the macedoing is a cube that is usually 1/2 cm x 1/2 cm.[/tab] [/tabgroup]