Aurélie Laforest

The training has fundamentally changed the way in which I approach and relate with food and cooking. Besides instilling an ease and confidence when working in the kitchen, it has fostered a faith in the ability to create a satisfying and healthy meal from any whole ingredient available. Precise ingredients are no longer necessary, as long as I have a primary element and salt – something is possible from a culinary perspective. At this point, my mind is saturated with the teaching and over the coming years, I hope to see how its effect will percolate through the fibers of my body and culinary experience, becoming more firmly anchored by continual practice.

More specifically, from a culinary perspective I have learned:

that less is more – good technique will make an ingredient shine, a wide spectrum of spices is not necessary to hide the primary elements themselves

that salt is magic – if you can use salt properly and from the heart, you can cook well

it is possible to fix almost anything – usually by adjusting strength, flavour and substance (SFS); this can mean adding more primary element, more supporting element(s) or more cooking method(s); it’s about continuing and pursuing transformation to bring the dish to an acceptable (and hopefully better than acceptable) fruition; it’s also where some of the most fun creative accidents occur

principles of effective meal composition where both visual and cost-based concerns meet

to create interesting menus based on any limiting concerns including the amount of time available, the ingredients available, the kitchen equipment available and dietary preferences or restriction (any or all of these)

to choose cooking methods based on the energetic properties and textural effect desired (was already doing that for the ingredients)

to consider growing styles of plants when choosing vegetables so as to introduce a variety of them in a given composition

to save time as a result of working with intuition and by organizing activities by cooking method

to save dishes by no longer requiring measuring instruments in addition to cooking hardware

From a personal development perspective I have learned:

that I’ve just started learning. the language is there now, it’s exploration, deepening and understanding can and will take a lifetime

to let the process of creation drive the outcome rather than have a fixed idea of what the outcome should be; it’s far more interesting and enchanting that way; there’s room for creation and newness in the spaces where thought is absent

to trust my intuition. when I do, the dish is usually right on. when I second guess or try and improve on inspiration… I’ll probably have to fix things…

Aurelie La forest

Chef Diploma 2019

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