New Orleans School of Cooking
September 4, 2017
Before we moved to New Orleans, I had tried to get my resume into the hands of management at New Orleans school of cooking with no luck. But I had a feeling I was meant to work there.
And so a week after we arrived in New Orleans we walked into the French Quarter where we found New Orleans School of Cooking and “wandered” into the busy storefront. I poked around pretending to be interested in spoons till the crowd died down and then politely cornered the manager I had spoken with previously on the phone, whom I identified by his name tag.
I must tell you I laid the charm on thick in my best impersonation of a southern lady and it must have worked because I left with instructions to get in touch for an interview in a month when they would be getting busy. Lo and behold, they ended up hiring me to help them restructure the way the kitchen was running despite my timeline being only four months.
So I gave District Donuts my two weeks notice and on September 11th I had my first day at New Orleans School of Cooking. The school looks deceptively tiny from the street and when you get inside you’ll be surprised to find three classrooms, a courtyard, storage and office space plus the retail store packed into a huge but compact three-story building.
They can run up to nine classes a day and it is a lot to get your head around. I spent the first few weeks trying to figure out how to read the class schedules so I’d know what events were happening where and how many of the guests needed a gluten free meal and whether or not they needed stemware and dessert spoons.
It is a huge operation with a lot of moving parts and I’ve been very impressed by how well they pull it off, sometimes running up to 9 events or classes per day, usually three of them going at a time, all with different chefs and different menus.
From the start it has been one of the most mentally challenging jobs I’ve taken on, from trying to figure out how to get to work in the middle of the French Quarter in a timely manner to learning how the school operates and on top of that learning the new skill of bringing change to an established work environment.
And lordy I’m still learning. But I’ve met so many wonderful people already and it has only reinforced my opinion that cooking schools are a wonderful place to be. Next time you visit New Orleans book yourself a class. You will laugh, learn and eat good food. They’ll serve you gumbo and pralines washed down with pitchers of beer, they’ll charm you and you’ll understand a little more about what makes New Orleans so special.
To Be Continued…