Behind The Butter

Chronicles of Culinary School

The following is NOT a segment of my book.

After about three cups of really strong black tea this morning and reading through all of your lovely, lovely responses to my last post, I decided maybe it would be fun to actually write on this blog a little more than I’ve done in the past.

So, the following is a test. If you don’t like it and would prefer me to just wax eloquently about how to make pie crust and pizza (and I have another fun recipe coming later today), tell me. I promise it won’t hurt my feelings (too much). However, If you like it and find it even mildly entertaining, tell me that too. Obviously I don’t plan to write the next great American novel on the blog every day, but Fridays are fun and might just call for something a little different. I want to write what you all want to read so help me help you. Please?

I’ll stop now. Here goes nothin’. By the way, the winner of the cookies is comment number 1024—Kathryn! Kathryn, please email me at jenna [at] and let’s talk cookies!


Basic Skills 1. Day One. 7:10 AM

I take a deep breath as I enter the kitchen classroom for the very first time. My primary thought is how cold the room is and I nervously fiddle with my cravat (neck-tie) because my hands are shaking. There’s only a few other students in the kitchen—class doesn’t officially start until seven thirty—and I recognize the face of a girl who was in my nutrition class with me a few weeks ago. She smiles the same nervous smile and I grab a metal barstool from the corner of the kitchen and then take a seat next to her alongside the metal counter. Out of my bag, I pull a brand new notebook with neat, smooth pages and can’t believe that only a few months ago I was sitting in a Victorian Literature class, preparing to take my final exam.

The minutes tick down and even though the room is chilly, I feel a prickle of sweat start at the base of my neck, where all my long blond hair is gathered and pulled into a hairnet-covered tight knot. More students fill the room, most of them boys who look to be about eighteen. Only three other girls enter the kitchen and for a moment I wonder what in the world I’m doing here and that I probably should have followed everyone else’s advice and gotten a safe and comfortable job after college instead of putting myself in thousands of dollars of student debt. It’s too late for that now though.

At exactly seven thirty, Chef walks into the kitchen. “LINE UP!!” he barks and then turns and walks right back out of the room. I take a deep breath and follow the rest of my classmates out of the room, where we line up with our backs straight against the wall while Chef shakes our hand and inspects us individually. Since my last name begins with W, I’m at the end of the line and wait nervously for my turn. Finally, I move forward.

“Good morning, Chef!” I say in an overexcited tone (whenever I get nervous I act waaaay too excited) and I shake his hand. He scans his roster and glances up at me.

“Why are you here, Weber?”

I pause then smile, showing my teeth. “Well, you see, I just graduated college at College of Charleston and have my degree in English. After college I went to Paris to study travel writing and now I’m here to learn everything about food so I can make a career as a food writer!” The overeager tone gets the best of me again and I sort of want to run far, far away in the opposite direction. Brilliant. Just brilliant.


Chef just stares at me with a deadpan expression and then smirks. “I didn’t ask for your entire life story. I just wanted to know why you’re here. Weber, there’s nothing I hate more than a good restaurant critic. Personally, I’d like to fry ’em all up for breakfast and then cut into them like a strip of crispy bacon. That’s how I feel about food critics and now that’s how I feel about you, too. From now on I’m going to just refer to you as ‘the enemy’. How do you feel about that, Weber?”

How did I feel? I felt like I was about to lose my breakfast right there on the shiny linoleum floor, that’s how I felt. Instead though, I just mumbled something unrecognizable and then scurried back into the kitchen to begin my first day of school.


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  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    August 20, 2010 at 9:51 am

    um, yikes. i’d be scared to death too. thank god you came out alive 🙂

  • crunchy granola gal
    August 20, 2010 at 9:52 am

    what a terrifying introduction to culinary school! funny how it’s much more SERIOUS than anyone would expect, right? i took a class at ICE here in NYC and even just teaching the recreational classes, the instructor was seriously scary and intense. i couldn’t hack it! pun intended.

    oh, and keep on writing please? 🙂

  • Angharad
    August 20, 2010 at 9:53 am

    I like it! I think having a mixture of content is a wonderful thing that a lot of blog readers appreciate. For sure I want to know how you think a good pie crust in made and what awesome restaurants you’re eating at and festivals you’re going to. I also like hearing about what makes people tick and how people got to where they are now. I think you’re ticking all the boxes!

    I also think I would have vomited on that man’s shoes.

  • emily
    August 20, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Love it! I vote more.

  • girlatastartup
    August 20, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Love the first person writing! Can you do more posts like this?

  • Jessica @ How Sweet
    August 20, 2010 at 9:56 am

    This is giving me a strange, unruly desire to go to culinary school.

  • Rachel
    August 20, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Love it. Love everything you post. Do your thang, girlfriend.

  • Liane
    August 20, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Um, that sounds terrifying. I may have run out and never returned so you are a much braver soul than I.
    Are you going to make us wait in anticipation for a week for the next installment?! I have zero patience 😉

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    August 20, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Was Chef ex-military or something? Did you guys drop and give him 20 before chopping onions? My goodness! I’d be too scared of messing up to cook a single thing.

    And I vote yes for Storytime Fridays.

    • jenna
      August 20, 2010 at 9:59 am

      yes. He was actually a former marine!!! I kid you not.

  • Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf
    August 20, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Poor Jenna! I’m not sure what I would have done! When people ask me what I exactly DO on my blog, I get discombobulated. I can’t form coherent sentences or explanations. I’m not sure I’ve ever really been able to answer the question.

    But I want to read more about your stories!

  • Dorry
    August 20, 2010 at 10:00 am

    wow! yes, it’s fun to hear more – of course keep up the yummy recipes and awesome photos (food related and otherwise). now I want some pizza. 🙂

  • Nancy @ The Wife of a Dairyman
    August 20, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Wow! Nothing like starting culinary school off on the right foot! You must have been terrified after that! How many months was your course culinary school?

  • theemptynutjar
    August 20, 2010 at 10:03 am

    It is interesting how you try different tones/ideas/themes on your blog. I keep feeling that I need to “know my voice/style” and have it consistent, etc..but maybe it is just a really long process (long) of just writing/photographing whatever you feel on that day, and then eventually it might come through. I feel it could takes me years to find my own real style (if my blog even lasts that long – doubtful, ha…other worries on my plate unfortunately). Would you ever consider going back to do advanced culinary studies (i.e…further studies), or is your hear in the food writing/photography now?

  • Keri
    August 20, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Love it! More stories please!

  • Brigitte
    August 20, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Love it!! You are such a great writer!

  • Erin
    August 20, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Your nervous/over-eager self comes through and it is so endearing. Tell us more culinary school stories!

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    August 20, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Just reading this made me hyperventilate and my chest and stomach tighten. Encountered his ‘soulmate’ at UCLA. A real &^%*$#@! OR +?”^!@. Take your pick…And then….and then….? We wait til NEXT Fri? Oh, that’s mean. 😉

  • Julia
    August 20, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Does that fact that I laughed out loud make me a bad person? I hope not because I was mostly laughing at the adorableness of that story.

    I really like this post and would enjoy seeing more of them!

  • Joanna
    August 20, 2010 at 10:11 am

    I’d like something new and different every once in a while – whether it’s once a week or whenever you feel like it. 🙂

  • Deirdre
    August 20, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Keep the writing coming – I love it!

  • Abbey
    August 20, 2010 at 10:14 am

    did he seriously say that??? “fry them up and them cut them like a piece of crispy bacon??” AHhhh lololol! i think i would have said i have to go use the bathroom and never come back. haha.

  • Ann
    August 20, 2010 at 10:20 am

    how awful! Who does he think he is? Chef Ramsey?

    Love the prose, by the way.

  • Jolene (
    August 20, 2010 at 10:21 am

    I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Elana
    August 20, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Love it! More of this please 🙂 Seeing you mention your book (even in saying that this WASN’T from it), made me so excited to read it!!

  • AshleyH
    August 20, 2010 at 10:22 am

    I vote yes for story time fridays. I think a lot of your readers, myself included, are book readers so I could see where this would be quite popular.
    ps I probably would have started crying on the spot. Way to hold it together!

  • Leslie
    August 20, 2010 at 10:23 am

    More, more, more please!

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit
    August 20, 2010 at 10:23 am

    You are one tough cookie!!

  • Lisa
    August 20, 2010 at 10:23 am

    That doesn’t sound like a very fun experience. 🙁

  • Ashley
    August 20, 2010 at 10:23 am

    I really love the style of this post and the last post. You give such vivid imagery – I absolutely love it! You make me feel like I’m actually in the room with you and terrified as well.

  • Brenda M.
    August 20, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Lurve it! I love the variety, but that everything is tied together with your style (food/life themes).

  • Ashlee
    August 20, 2010 at 10:26 am

    I like the first person writing. I’d love to read more! Go for it!

  • Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary)
    August 20, 2010 at 10:26 am

    I love your writing and I love you recipes! I’d be sad if you stopped posting recipes!!

  • Marissa
    August 20, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Love it! I vote keep the stories coming!

  • Kristin
    August 20, 2010 at 10:29 am

    I like this very much. Did he seriously refer to you as ‘the enemy’ through the entire class? I’d be terrified to go back! PS – I LOVE the culinary school chronicles. I was so excited the day I saw them and read through all the posts – my favorite is your cake smashing day.

  • ida
    August 20, 2010 at 10:31 am

    cute post! you must send that teacher a copy of your book when it comes out:-)

  • Lindsay @ Summit Sandwiches
    August 20, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Please write more stuff like this! You’re good at it. 🙂 Also, I totally would have started crying after the chef railed on you for being a “food critic.” I’m impressed you didn’t. You’ve got nerves of steel, Jenna!

  • Lindsay
    August 20, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Love it – although missed the photos a little bit!!

  • Mallory
    August 20, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Love this post! You are such a great writer. More! More!

  • Amber from Girl with the Red Hair
    August 20, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Love it. Can’t wait to read your book! For some reason I thought you did culinary school in Paris. I didn’t know you went there to learn about being a travel writer!

  • Scargosun
    August 20, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Sounds like culinary school and bootcamp have a lot in common. 😉
    As I wrote in my blog today, I don’t think as bloggers we need to be put into one box. You can do recipes and stories and basically, just be you. It will be great!

  • Erin
    August 20, 2010 at 10:36 am


  • Dawn
    August 20, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Yes! You have a wonderful writing style, and I would definitely love to read stuff like this in addition to the recipes, etc.

  • Jenn
    August 20, 2010 at 10:38 am

    LOVED IT!!!!

  • hannah
    August 20, 2010 at 10:40 am

    love it. keep ’em coming girl!

  • sarah k. @ the pajama chef
    August 20, 2010 at 10:41 am

    wow. that’s crazy intense. i wouldn’t handle that well at all…. oh man. and i LOVE the content. thanks! your writing is fabulous.

  • Cristin
    August 20, 2010 at 10:41 am

    I love this!

  • Michele Williams
    August 20, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Hi Jenna!!
    Just wanted to say I love your blog, I’ve been reading it for a couple of months now. Yikes, what a first day!! Love the style of this post, really enjoyed hearing your first person perspective!

  • nic
    August 20, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Love, love, love this!!
    Chronicles of Culinary School!! Brilliant!!
    I’m actually currently reading your old Culinary School posts… So that’s really perfect timing!! ;D

  • Eileen
    August 20, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Love your site “new” and old. Keep the posts coming!

  • Erin
    August 20, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Thank you so much for this! I just stumbled across your blog through my google reader and absolutely adore it! It’s such an honest and beautifully cheerful part of my day! 🙂 keep up your enthusiasm and I look forward to reading your “behind enemy lines” reviews of culinary school!

  • Lindsey
    August 20, 2010 at 10:46 am

    LOVE IT! Keep it coming!

  • Jessica @ Jessica Balances
    August 20, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Wow – and then you came back the next day, and the next… You are clearly very brave! I really liked this post, a lot… More, please! 🙂

  • Camille
    August 20, 2010 at 10:46 am

    I have though about culinary school before, but the criticism scares me. You must be a much stronger person then I am to get through things like that!

  • Sara
    August 20, 2010 at 10:48 am

    This was great! Well, not for you, but the writing. I think it’s fun to sprinkle in a few things. I say do it!

    As for the Chef—hello Jerkface. I think I would have almost peed my pants and I also do the same thing with my tone of voice and then later want to beat my head on a table due to embarrassment. Yikes. I also spew life stories like that when I’m nervous. However, after I peed my pants, I probably would have recovered and told him he was rude. 😉 Not the best idea but I also have insert-foot-into-mouth issues.

  • Sana
    August 20, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Oh god! I would have cried. Like sobbing crying. That is what I do when I am nervous/ scared.

  • Tracey
    August 20, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Love this new addition (or should I say “edition”) on the blog! I’m a creative writer, too, so I look forward to more writing interspersed with the restaurants, recipes and relationship updates! Can you tell I love alliteration, too?

  • R @ Learning As I Chop
    August 20, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Stories are fun, and this was enjoyable, but I love your cooking tips and instructions! That being said, write what you love…

  • Lina@GreenLivingNY
    August 20, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Loved the idea of these stories, so keep posting them maybe twice a week not only on Fridays!! 🙂

  • Andrea
    August 20, 2010 at 10:53 am

    More more more!

  • Sarah
    August 20, 2010 at 10:58 am

    I loved it. Keep ’em coming!

  • Kathrin
    August 20, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Hello there. I am just following your blog since your century ride I think. So a lot of the changes you are talking about are not that visible for me since I just don’t read along for too long. With that being said, I really enjoy reading your blog… All of it. And today was great too! But seriously, what did chef wanted to hear when he asked you what you were doing there? That’s not a question one can answer in one sentence… right?

  • Alina
    August 20, 2010 at 10:59 am

    aghhhh it ended way toooo soon, where’s to be continued words?!!!! LOVED it! Damn, you made me want to take some culinary classes!
    p.s. Jenna could you be so nice and make a post about classic Margherita pizza, please?!

  • Heather
    August 20, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Love it! I have to say that I’m really enjoying the new format of your blog. It’s a lot of fun to read, your recipes are amazing, and I feel like your enthusiasm is shining through so much more, keep it up!

    Meant to comment and say that on your last post, but I first read it at work and didn’t have time to comment before a meeting and then I was lazy and didn’t turn my computer on at home last night.

    Anyway, great job!

  • Celeste
    August 20, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Loved the story!! I felt though, that your writers “voice” in this post was a lot different compared to your usual entries…perhaps this is because the content was different…either way it was still great!

  • Tina
    August 20, 2010 at 11:09 am

    For your sake, I hope his demeanor improved-I hate people that motivate and ‘teach’ by fear.

  • Jessica
    August 20, 2010 at 11:11 am

    I like it, Jenna. You can definately keep this part of the blog. 🙂

  • Corinne
    August 20, 2010 at 11:13 am

    please tell me you got along better after that and he was just being “scary” on the first day. my god girl. i would have turned as red as a tomato and then some. GAH!!!

  • Nicole
    August 20, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Love it! It made me think- however scary that must have been to take the leap and go into culinary school, aren’t you glad you did it? Can you imagine how your life would be different if you hadn’t?

  • Marla
    August 20, 2010 at 11:15 am

    I enjoyed reading this for a change of pace…but wonder if you should save these gems (this and the last one especially) for your second book?! Might be wise 😉

    I miss your breakfast posts,but am loving your blog now and always!

    Would you still consider doing a few casual breakfast/lunch psots -I love seeing your every day casual eats(whether what you out in your pita, how you top your oatmeal, if you are in a coffee or tea mood…)?

    You are very versatile! Able to do many style writings !!

  • Melinda
    August 20, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I vote for Friday “horror” stories. Or whatever you’re feeling that day. Good times, good times!

  • jenna
    August 20, 2010 at 11:19 am

    culinary school is so scary!!! i’ve always wanted to go but i’ve heard such horror stories i can’t bring myself to do it! ha!!! lol

  • Janie
    August 20, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I would LOVE if you decide to start writing more on your blog. I rarely comment, but have read you for years. Your voice has always been one of my favorite aspects of your blog. I loved last night’s entry and this one. I can’t wait for your book to come out!!

  • Jes
    August 20, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I like it! It helps us know more about your journey to get where you are today… <3 it!

  • RhodeyGirl
    August 20, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Love it.

  • Sahar
    August 20, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Love it!

  • Cailin @ Stir Crazy
    August 20, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Love it! I want to hear more! That’s exactly how I thought cooking school would be:)
    It’s great that you’re following your dream… “Do what you love, and the money will follow”, and then you can pay off all those student loans 😉
    ps… just recently found your blog and loving it! You are on the right track as a writer 🙂

  • Kelly
    August 20, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Omgosh…how terrifying would that be? I don’t know if I’d have the courage to go back the next day…I might be scared that he’d follow through on his threat! I have this secret desire to go to culinary school but this makes me scared to even look into it.

    Again, love this post. Keep ’em coming girl.

  • Val @ Balancing Val
    August 20, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Thanks for posting this! I’m (hopefully) going to be starting the chefs training program at the natural gourmet institute in a few months so its great to read the chronicles of other people going through culinary school!

  • Kathleen
    August 20, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Love it! I’m really enjoying the new format and am looking forward to more stories, recipes and your book in 2012.

  • Lu
    August 20, 2010 at 11:35 am

    I love your blog and love the fun Friday idea. Keep it all coming…I am going to live vicariously through you!

  • Holly B
    August 20, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Beautiful, beautiful narration of just the first moments of your culinary career. Bravo!

  • Chrissy (The New Me)
    August 20, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Yes! Please keep posts like this coming, especially on Fridays. A lovely way to end the work week!

  • Juniper
    August 20, 2010 at 11:43 am

    storytime friday is a breath of fresh air! love it! : )

  • Jillian
    August 20, 2010 at 11:46 am

    I totally love this idea! I think it will give you a nice break from recipes and have fun, while still keeping everyone entertained.

    Your a beautiful writer and sometimes recipes can be a little bit basic writing wise. I say mix it up from time to time. (But please don’t stop your wonderful recipes!)

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)
    August 20, 2010 at 11:47 am

    I love reading whatever you write.

    So YES to switching things up and including these types of things now and then. I love it! 😀

  • Hilary
    August 20, 2010 at 11:51 am

    yes, keep writing like this!

  • Louise
    August 20, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Can’t wait to hear Part 2!

  • Jamie
    August 20, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Hi Jenna- I’ve never left a comment before but have read since you were staying at your friends parents house. I LOVE your new outlook, and can’t wait for your book!

  • Annie (Delicious Wellness)
    August 20, 2010 at 11:54 am

    love it, Jenna! You are a brilliant writer.

  • Elli @ 16 and Losing It
    August 20, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Wow scary guy. What a way to start! I vote more please! Especially since going to culinary school is one of the things I am considering.

  • Rebecca
    August 20, 2010 at 11:58 am

    I’m starting culinary school in 2 weeks… I am now scared shitless! On the contrary I love your new style of blogging!

  • Jess
    August 20, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Yaaaay for story time. One more chapter, pleeeease.

  • elise
    August 20, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    hideous! id be shitting my pants for sure. THESE are the posts i love. THESE are the posts i want to comment on. And THESE are the posts that make your blog personal and therefore more interesting than others. thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Cassie
    August 20, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    If you decide to not continue it though…can you at least finish the story? Now I want to read the rest! I’m excited you’re going to be a writer–your voice shows so clearly through your work. 🙂
    But random pictures and food is ALSO cool….your captions never fail to make me crack a smile.
    Do whatever YOU want to do, and we’ll all like it! 🙂

  • Amy
    August 20, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    LOVE IT!! Jenna, this is awesome! I love your writing style and I can’t wait to hear more! It’s a treat to come to your blog and read things like this. Keep keep keep it up up up!!! 🙂

  • an editor
    August 20, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Well, sounds like everyone is loving it. So there’s an audience there. But as a professional editor I can say this: Watch your tenses. I’d tone down the details and be sparse (think hemingway….). Showing your teeth when you smile? Don’t need to know that. Deadpan then smirks? Seems like two different people. The situation doesn’t seem so scary, to be honest. First day of class jitters are normal, but it seems like you are not sharing the real reason, perhaps, that you are scared. Because you aren’t going to sell a book or a story based on timidness. Write with temerity and put a damper on the cliches.

    • katie
      August 20, 2010 at 9:09 pm

      I’m glad someone else said this… good start, needs editing. But that’s probably not the point of these posts… to be the best writing examples.

      • eatmovelove
        August 21, 2010 at 6:17 am

        This is interesting. I always think that writing is someone else’s work and having it “fixed” or changed to be a certain way or style…well, honestly, does the average day reader notice this?? And, why change what someone else wants to write.
        But this is your job as an Editor. And I guess your faced with this alot.
        Very interesting.

  • Cara
    August 20, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    I have to know what chef said this to you!! Sounds like a Jimmy Wessman thing!! 🙂

  • Sara
    August 20, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Not gonna lie, I miss seeing what you had for breakfast, lunch and dinner (maybe not all the time but you friggin introduced me to honeycrisp apples and it was the greatest surprise apple experience of my life). And what you bought at Target. And why certain things are so exciting to you. And how you trained for 100 miles on a bike. You’ve inspired me as well as I’m sure countless others to get off their butt and do things that they say they want to do. I do enjoy your recipes and I’m sure you want to keep a good deal of your life private since you are practically Oprah of the internet but I really do miss seeing your day to day activities – particularly exercise and food. Despite the changes lately, though, yours is still the first blog I go to every morning 🙂

  • Monica
    August 20, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Jenna, this is great! I love your writing style- I can’t wait for your book! PS- I love the new header. It suits you perfectly!

  • Elise A.
    August 20, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    You’re developing a more beautiful, real voice the longer you write here. Kudos to you for moving away from journaling to, dare I say it, real writing. Thanks for letting us see the writer you’re becoming.

    • eatmovelove
      August 21, 2010 at 6:18 am

      I second that.

  • Erica
    August 20, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I wanted to read more! Love it! Keep going 🙂

  • Krystina
    August 20, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    I loved this. Also, I didn’t know you had an English degree. I’m sort of following the same path – I’m in college for English and plan on going to culinary school, but not for food writing purposes.

  • Rachel @ Suburban Yogini
    August 20, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Love it, Weber, love it!

  • Jill
    August 20, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    It was great reading and not too long.
    BTW — I’m a class of 94 CofC grad! Wasn’t it a great place to go to college?! 🙂

  • Kim
    August 20, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    I love it. Variety in a blog is always great, and ELR never disappoints!

  • Faith @ lovelyascharged
    August 20, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    I’m totally loving storytime 🙂 I want to hear more for sure! I think we’ve all had crazy professors like that.

  • Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun)
    August 20, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    I think documenting many of your culinary school experiences is a great contribution to the blog. That story made me nervous just reading it. I had an experience like that in a dance class once when I was living in New York. My teacher was terrifying, and I made the msitake of wearing a bright yellow t-shirt to class once, which apparently was a major dress-code no-no. She then referred to me only as yellow girl for the remainder of the semester. Oy.

  • Lisa
    August 20, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    I love it, you are a great writer, keep it coming!!!

  • Jo
    August 20, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    I just want to eat that pizza.

  • Cate
    August 20, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    I love the”voice” in your writing, which comes out in all of your posts, but even more so when you are narrating a story about your weekend or a past time in your life. So I vote for both. I love the recipes/tutorials (I’m inspired to make a peach pie this weekend!), but I like the idea of mixing it up a bit, too. Thanks for asking!

  • Marie
    August 20, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Oh my gosh, how terrifying! I would have busted out in tears! 😉 I love these posts; keep ’em coming! 🙂

  • Jin
    August 20, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Whoa, I would’ve broken down right then and there!!

    Looking forward to more of the segments Jenna!

  • Liz
    August 20, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    I absolutely LOVE the voice & style of your writing and obviously would love to see more posts like this. Your blog has changed in so many great ways over the past few years!

  • MaryZ
    August 20, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    OMG! How awful! I love these little segments! I certainly hope the rest of the class was better than the first day:)

  • Katie
    August 20, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    GOOD LUCK!! That sounds so fun! I would love to go to culinary school one day.

  • Miranda
    August 20, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Love it, my vote is for more!!

  • Katie
    August 20, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    I just LOVE your creative writing posts! Can’t wait for your book to come out 🙂

  • Shannon, Tropical Eats
    August 20, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    jenna you are so talented! adding a post like this every few days would be a breath of fresh air 🙂

    major props for you getting through that first day of culinary school. he seems like one tough cookie!

  • Julie B.
    August 20, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    I like the story! Yet, I would not have done well in a class with him. I don’t respond well to abrasive people. I get abrasive as well.

  • Sarah (Oc2Seattle)
    August 20, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Weren’t you slightly tempted to respond “Bring it!”?

  • Leah @ Why Deprive?
    August 20, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    I love it!
    Im pretty sure I would have wanted to run out of the class crying. I wouldnt do it because Im too stubborn, but I dont know that I would have been able to go back again.

  • Elizabeth
    August 20, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    More, please!

  • stephanie
    August 20, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Love this! Can’t wait to read mor

    e if it! You are a great writer! I would love a good mix of this and stuff from your everyday life (daily eats, groceries, workouts etc)

  • Angela (ohsheglows)
    August 20, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!

  • Amber K
    August 20, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    I really liked this blog! It’s definitely a change of pace from your usual ones.

    Ugh, and I probably would have lost my lunch all over his shoes!

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie
    August 20, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    oh my goodness that’s an awesome story! I would have probably laughed hysterically like a maniac and then peed my pants.

  • Stacie @ Imperfectly Healthy
    August 20, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Awesome post! Can’t wait to read more!!! 🙂

  • Natalie
    August 20, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    I definitely think you should keep up the longer style-let your mind wander-write till you cant stop posts. Love them.

    Dont worry if it makes you feel any better I was my chef’s worst enemy at cooking school, I was vegetarian who RARELY trie his dishes. he hated me for this. I loved cooking his food not eating it 🙂

    It all came to a delightful finish when i saw the pizza at the end.

  • Kayla @ Let's Live Wholesome
    August 20, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    Keep. It. Comin.

  • CarolineR
    August 20, 2010 at 7:25 pm


    I rarely comment but I wanted to chime in and say I would love to read more posts like this! Much different from any of the other blogs I read on a regular basis (in a good way!)


  • Dione
    August 20, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Give me more! Loved Flashback Fridays!

  • Jessica@tastyandtrim
    August 20, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    You are a gifted writer, funny too! I loved it and would love to read more posts like that on your blog 🙂

  • Kim
    August 20, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    More please! 🙂

  • Lida
    August 20, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    I love the idea of writing more. I’ve also been trying to branch out more with my blog and experiment with lots of different kinds of posts. i say if you feel like posting something, post it!

  • Kristy
    August 20, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Yes! Yes! Yes! I love your stories. They hold my attention well. 🙂 I’m starting culinary school in October. Your always get my brain stimulated!

  • Heather @ Sugar & Spice
    August 20, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    I loved this post. Yes, a mixture of content is great and I hope it is fun for you, too. I find writing about the past to be a great writing exercise. Thanks so much for putting such a fantastic blog out there!

  • andrea
    August 20, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    loved it.

  • yashika
    August 20, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Tell me more!!!! Culinary school sounds like fun! My sister is a rockstar of a baker and I have been trying to convince her to join school professionally. Maybe I’ll just pass on the blog and she will know for herself…

  • Lauren
    August 21, 2010 at 3:42 am

    Really love hearing about C school. More please!!

  • Meredith (Pursuing Balance)
    August 21, 2010 at 5:32 am

    Love this post! I feel so terrible for you that your first day of class was like that! I think I would have burst into tears!

  • Nikki
    August 21, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Scary, but I like it! Please keep these posts coming.

  • Laura Georgina
    August 21, 2010 at 9:26 am

    More, yes please and thank you!

  • Erica
    August 21, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    I love it! Please continue.

    I just finished a summer working as an assistant cook at a summer camp, and while my head cook wasn’t terrifying like your chef, it took me a good month to feel confident in my abilities. When the only way to learn is by making horrific, embarrassing mistakes, you can really lose faith in your self. But it all comes back by the end, am I right?

  • Melissa
    August 21, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    AH! I’d be scared to death too!! Continue with the writing.. I love it!

  • Cassie
    August 21, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    This is great! I am finishing up my senior year of college and considering going to culinary school for this exact reason too. It’s good to know you were open from the start and got out alive!

  • Stephanie Clement
    August 21, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Soooooomebody may or may not have been reading Anthony Bourdain recently….you absolutely capture his inexplicable style….this is only the highest compliment I can pay to you. Sir Bourdain (as I have everyone refer to him in my household…..of one boyfriend and a handful of very alive plants..) is the epitome of fantastic adventurous writing and soulful, if not painful at times, descriptions of his life’s escapades.

    I ain’t gunn’ lie…I miss the old ‘healthy lifestyle’ blog you once wrote…but with that said, this is fantastic. I will absolutely continue to adore and look up to you if this fantastic prose (if not poetry at times) continues. This is awesome and I’ve told you this before: you dear girl, are awesome.

    …me wonders whether I can fit the phrase “if not” in here one more time…

    well, if not now…later.


  • Amelia
    August 22, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Jenna, have you ever read the book The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn? (I feel like I might have seen it in one of your book pictures.) It’s all about a woman who leaves the corporate world to study at Le Cordon Bleu. I just finished it and it’s very good. Your post reminded me of it because she talks about her nightmare experiences with the chefs. If you have not read it, I would definitely add it your list! 🙂

  • Christina
    August 23, 2010 at 6:21 am

    Love. it. More please!

  • Heather
    August 23, 2010 at 8:30 am

    It’s a fun story. Personally, I think you’re better suited to the type of writing normally found on this blog.The adjectives in this are simply out of control. Scale it back. More action verbs! And yes, the “editor” is right, your tenses shift pretty frequently. As is, it sounds quite a bit like a high school essay. You certainly have some writing chops, but I didn’t find them evident here.

  • Aisha
    August 24, 2010 at 2:13 am

    More, I want to know more please.
    You have a beautiful writing style, I can’t wait to read your book whenever it is published.