Day 56: The end of regular programming and a visit to Cafe Paradiso

Week 12! I mean I should not have been surprised it had arrived. But for all my day by day counting and weekly summaries, I distinctly remember waking up on Monday morning and thinking “WTF. Have I counted right? Can this really be week 12?” But I checked. And of course, it was. There was no getting around it, we were marching swiftly on to THE END. (Gasp)

Me (late) off to the kitchens to do my final day of regular cooking

And what a week it was going to be:

  • Monday was the only day of regular routine in that we were in the kitchens cooking in the morning and then had our usual demo in the afternoon.
  • Tuesday was our final demo and study day
  • Wednesday and Thursday were Masterchef (read practical exams)
  • Friday we had 3 written exams followed by our final party.
  • Saturday was goodbyes (and inevitable hangovers).

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Week 10: a summary in numbers

On Monday, Darina told us we might find ourselves getting rather frustrated this week. Along with week 5 (the first low point) the next bump in the road is officially supposed to be week 10.

“You’re all tired and it’s suddenly hits you there are only 2 weeks left. You’re overwhelmed, unsure of what might come next, some of you may feel you never want to see a pot or a pan again and everyone is annoying you… including me! But don’t worry, all this will pass” – Darina

For me, any low points (e.g. a 1am finish while writing out my final menu, to facing a small mountain of filing, to feeling like a lobster murderer) have been totally outweighed by the good stuff. The foraging classes, the miraculous lamb butchery lesson where I learnt the best way ever to french trim a rack of lamb, the tapas demonstration (and sherry tasting….) the Californian wine tasting, the pop-up dinner. Again, many, many times to count my blessings and feel immensely grateful.


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Days 48 & 49: Seafoody

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With the end so near and so much to do between now and the end of week 12, blog posts are officially now going to be short and sweet. That means lots of pictures and no tangents Fi. (Well, let’s see how I go. I do love a good tangent (read procrastination) and I love writing this blog. It’s become such an important end of the day / week ritual and an important part of processing it all)

So, last Thursday and Friday were distinctly fishy. For 3 reasons: Continue reading

Day 47: Foraging

Wednesday morning saw us head out on a foraging expedition around the school grounds.


It was just a short expedition, in between notes on freezing (is it possible for something to be both boring as well as interesting? If so, freezing was it), sheep’s milk cheese, biscotti and olive oil tastings. But – amazing. Once again, Darina was so impressive in her knowledge of every tree, every plant, every bird and animal we saw on the farm.  Continue reading