Excerpt from chapter nine-Where’s the dessert?

Posted by admin on Feb 07, 2016

I had no idea what to expect at AIC. I had done my research on the internet and looked at so many cookery schools in Italy. Many were for Italians only, some for international students only and then I found Academy of Italian Culinary. I knew instantly that it was the right place for me. The course was for beginners and the outline suited me with the basics in cutting vegetables, preparing sauces and broths for cooking. I was learning a new skill in my 40’s and this was both scary and exciting.

I knew I was good at my job in social work and I knew exactly what to do each and every day, but this was going to be a huge change. I had so much to learn and I wanted to learn everything there was about being a chef. I was excited about the next step of my journey but the ever familiar sick feeling in the pit of my stomach began again. I knew instantly that it was anxiety and began the self talk again. “It’s ok to nervous” I told myself. “It’s ok to be anxious, you are about to start a chef course in a foreign country, who wouldn’t be nervous?”

I repeated over and over. “Just be gentle with yourself and take it one day, one moment at a time.”

I repeated these phrases all the way to the school and throughout the day.

I arrived at the main office of the school, where some other members of the new class were already waiting outside. There was a young Italian boy speaking English with another tall, blonde male. The tall, blonde male’s accent told me that he was European and English was his second language. So I am not the only foreigner in this course. I thought a little relieved.

I quickly noticed that the students were so young. No one else here was tackling a mid-life crisis, as most would be pushing thirty. I hadn’t thought I would be returning to school with a group so much younger than me. I thought there would be one or two around my age wanting to make a life change or just learn to cook. I then remembered Italians are not likely to make a life change in their forties. If they have a job they will stick to it for fear that they will not get another one, especially if it pays well.

I started to worry about how I was going to get along with people so much younger than me. Then a young girl next to me introduced herself as Maria, and asked where I was from as my accent told her I was not Italian;

“Da dove siei?” she asked me.

“Io sono Australiana.” Hai sentito il mio accento?” I asked her if she could tell from my accent that I was not Italian.

“Si ho capito che sei straniera,” She replied yes, that she could tell I was a foreigner.

[caption id="attachment_149" align="alignnone" width="300"]Me in my Chef uniform an loving it Me in my Chef uniform an loving it[/caption]

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