Sunday, August 23, 2009

Field Trip

As an early aside, on Monday I registered, and paid I might add, for one class next quarter. My choices were Pantry, Purchasing or American Regional Cuisine. I asked if Pantry was about stocking shelves. Chef thought that was pretty funny. Pantry is all about making salads, composed salads, salad dressings, mayo and other condiments and sandwiches. Basically the cold stuff in the kitchen. Chef said WE didn't have the prerequisite math yet to take Purchasing. Oh, I have the math. I'm sure my three semesters of Calc, three semesters of Statistics and an engineering degree trump their basic math class. And if it doesn't, screw 'em, I'm not taking it. I didn't feel like taking classes Monday through Thursday 9-2 nor did I fell like attending class from 9-5 all day Wednesday and Thursday and I didn't want an evening class, so it was settled, American Regional Cuisine. RK asked what American Regional Cuisine meant. I thought it was pretty self explanatory, cooking styles from across the USA: Deep South, New England, Southwest, Tex-Mex, etc. "You mean we're going to cook those different styles?" No, we're going on field trips and padding our frequent flier miles. I might have to start drinking during the day.

Speaking of field trips, on Tuesday we took a ride down to Gwinnett GA to a food expo. We loaded up in a school van with an additional four people in a school car. While it was a nice experience to have, it really was not that thrilling of a trip.

When we got there, there was a LONG line for registration. It was quickly apparent to me that I was the only one who has ever been to any type of expo before, and I've been doing them for 20 years, both as an attendee and as a vendor. Truthfully, no matter the industry, an expo is an expo. Mayfield was in dismay, "why do we have to register, I thought we just walk in!" Dude, these things aren't free ya know. Come on! I wonder where my hip flask is? Chef, who had strangely disappeared after we got in line, showed back up with comp passes from one of his vendors. Everyone seemed shocked by this, man are we special. No we're not, I used to hand them out too to my customers. You would have thought we were a bunch of high school teenage girls getting free purses when we went through the line to get a complimentary tote bag for the swag given out (BTW, I've known that "word" for years knowing what it meant but never knowing exactly what it stood for. A quick search reveals that it apparently stands for Stuff We All Get) . I turned mine back in empty and unopened. I have twenty years of totes at home.

This expo was mainly food vendors hawking prepared foods to restaurateurs, things like Tyson chicken nuggets and chicken tenders. Brew City mozzarella sticks and black and tan onions rings. About every appetizer you've ever had was there and many of the desserts. Vienna Beef was there with there Chicago hot dogs. So on one hand it was a neat experience but on the other hand it was disappointing because 1) I/we were not there in the capacity to buy or find a great deal and 2) it kind of pops the bubble of fantasy that none of these foods that you order in a restaurant are prepared fresh.

So there's the highlight, the drive there and back was the worse part. I really thought that when I left the teeny boppers behind from my first class things would get much better, but they really haven't. It must be something about those who are drawn to the culinary world, 16 or 56, they all seem to have the same mental age and mentality. Oh how I wish I had brought headphones and could have listened to music and tuned everyone out. Poor planning on my part. On the way back I told MILF I wish I had brought my knife kit. Why? To put myself out of my memory. I'm not going to go into the inane conversations on the way up that Chico, Ridges, Bar Code and Igor were having about sex with each other or the equally inane conversations on the way down the Sushi boys and Mouth were having.

I learned that Igor and Chico are Bar Code's little lap dogs. Those two are inseparable at the hip it seams and follow BC everywhere he goes. They seem lost without him. I asked Bar Code what it was like to have his own groupies. I don't think he got it. It's like a comic version of Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle. On the way back I had the infinite pleasure of sitting next to Igor and Chico. From what I could gather, Igor convinced Hottie #2 to give him her phone number and then preceded to hit on her and ask her out via texting. It seems that she slammed him and then continued to brutally slam him the whole ride home. I immediately felt a kinship with her. She asked me if I was following along. I said yes, it was pathetic. She laughed so hard. She loves me now.

What I wouldn't give for some intellectual conversation. Outside of with my wife I really haven't had any since I left the foundry. And my wife doesn't enjoy intellectual banter, philosophical ponderings or what-if games. She's pretty pragmatic. And that's not a fault. So much for meeting people through school.

It was good to arrive home.

No comments: