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I flipped the crepe on the pan; I heard a sizzle and then a crackle. An orange flame blazed in the air. I had just done a triple flip in the air. The five other chefs in the room did a polite golf clap. I had finally mastered it! This had been the moment I had been waiting for since the day I entered the French Culinary Institute.
You just met me so I will cut you a break for what you know and don’t know. I am a student at the French culinary school in Manhattan , New York . I’m 28 years old and I live in a cozy three leveled place in one of the nicest apartments in New York City . Yes I do boast quite a bit. But does it matter? No not really because you should be able to brag if you own the top five restaurants in America . You may be wondering why at 28 years of age I am taking a cooking class. Well, when you become a chef you have to renew your license of becoming a chef by taking a class in your expertise. Mine just happens to be the artistry of pastries and French cuisine. I have been working in this area of cooking since I finished my getting my degree at Yale on journalism in the cooking area.
I have dark chocolate brown hair that curls at the bottom. I have pale skin that wears red makeup every day to bring out my hazel brown eyes. My long elegant legs let me prance like a model. Today I just happened to be wearing an outfit that I designed myself. A long blue shirt with a belt rapped around my thin waste. Black leggings that just barely cover my dull black high heels. And lastly, to top that whole outfit I wore a white bow directly on the top of my head.
I have been told that I am most loved chef in America . From my cooking show Simply Deliciouso to my twelve cook books that have been published. I feel almost as if I rule the world. People would say that they like my moist half-pound cookies. They are rich and moist but they don’t crumble in your mouth like gold fish.
“We are in the middle of a lesson! Were you day dreaming again?”
“No. Like you would know what I’m thinking about!”
“What you should be thinking about is your flaming pan of orange glaze wine.”
“You know I just mastered a triple flip in the air and all you are doing is yelling at me!”
“Just leave Kenley!”
“Fine! Be that way!” I grabbed my black tote and headed out of the door. As I exited photographers flashed their cameras at me in all different angles.
“Look over here Kenely!”
“Over here, over here Ms.Thompson!”
“Can you please leave me alone for once?”
“What is wrong?” The paparzzi asked me.
“I just want you to be left alone! I just had a bad class to make a long story short.”
“Sorry.” And they walked away.
I walked back to my apartment building with salty tears running down my face. This had not happened just once that Chef Batoli had had the last string with me. He is a very impatient man. He seems even scarier with his deep voice and very bold eyes.
As I swung through the revolving doors the door man Walter greeted me.
“Good afternoon Ms.Thompson. Nice lesson today?” he asked in a jolly tone.
“No, not really. Chef Batoli yelled at me again. Wally (his nickname.) I am really upset that I have to go back tomorrow and step into his cooking class. I really do not want to apologize because the only reason I am in this mess is because he is not encouraging me to become a better chef. He’s always throwing me to the ground.” I whimpered to him.
“Kenley, I think that expressing your feelings to him might be a good thing to do the next time you encounter him doing that to you.” I looked at him in a way of disgust.
“Don’t you say that every time I have a problem?”
“Well, yes. But what I am saying is the truth. Kenley, you should know that to become a successful chef you have to sometimes take harsh criticism.”
“Thanks for your help Wally.” I said as I walked towards the elevator. I harshly bushed the elevator button and a bright florescent orange color appeared.
I stepped in and a classy Harry Connick Jr. tune played. I pressed level 23b on the button presser thing and the lift began to rise.
Finally I got to my floor I ran down the hallway and I quickly said my name to the operator and the door opened. I took off my shoes and ran up the spiral staircase.
My circular bed waited for me to hop into it and go right asleep. And this was exactly what I did.
“Kenley! Kenley! Wake up!”
“Get away from me!” I groaned sleepily.
“Did she really just say that to a live T.V. channel?”
“Who are y…..you’re Rob Macillian! You are the head of the “Iron Chef America”. I absolutely love that show!”
“Well lucky you because you have been selected to challenge the one and only Robby Cook!”
For a second there I thought I was going to pass out. But luckily I did not.
“Hurry up and get changed because you need to get to the stadium. We will see you in twenty minutes at the stadium!” Then they left me to my thoughts.
I ran to my closet and slabbed on some clothes. I took my purse and ran to the elevator. I pushed the button and tapped my foot waiting for the doors to open. I stepped in and pressed the number 1 and down I went.
Wally was there his face gleaming with joy. Obviously he had heard about my great news and as I ran out the door he shouted at the top of his lungs, “Good LUCK!” I waved good by and put my hand up for a taxi. One came to an immediate stop as I raised my hand.
“I’m going to thirty-ninth and fourth!” I told the man.
“Yes mam!” he exclaimed back.
In a good five minutes I was there. I had only been to the stadium once so I was happy to be able to be there again.
I walked in casually and once I opened the door a group of people came running toward me with all of the different materials they needed to put me into so I could get ready to cook. Suddenly this man came running towards me and he took me to the set.
“Rob will tell who the tell who the two chefs battling are, tell you the secret ingredient and then you will have to make a side dish, main dish, and a dessert with the usage of the secret ingredient.”
“Okay!” I said back in a loud tone.
“In five, four, three, two, one.” A man said from behind the cameras.
“We are here in the Iron Chef Kitchen, where two chefs will battle out who is the better chef!” Rob points at Robby and then me. “And the secret ingredient is……Pumpkin! Let the match BEGIN!”
A robotic like sound said “You have 1 hour.”
We ran to our sides and planned our three recipes. My entrée was going to going to be pumpkin spice bread. So I started right on it. I cut up half of a pumpkin and measured out all of my dry ingredients, such as sugar and then put them into the bowl. I poured in a cup of milk and then water and blended the ingredients together so their were no lumps in the mixture. I poured it into two rectangular shaped bowls, and then put them into the oven for fifteen minutes.
“Thirty minutes.” The robotic ladies voice said sternly.
I had already completed my first dish. I was right on track. Now onto my main dish. I had decided to do a pumpkin stew with a hint of cinnamon. I cut up five mini pumpkins then blended them so they were almost like a paste. I turned on a boiling pot and threw in the pumpkin, celery, cinnamon, basil, onion, pork, and chicken stalk. Immediately a pungent smell rose into the air filling the kitchen with comfort. I would leave the pot on the stove for ten minutes and it would be ready to go.
Rob came over to my side of the kitchen with five sous chefs waiting happily to help me. He explained to me that I would need to make a pumpkin pie and ice cream with the sous chefs.
“But I don’t need them!” I exclaimed. “Shouldn’t I be doing it all myself instead.”
“No. That would be against the rules! So, off you go.”
“Fine. Then you go make vanilla ice cream, you go make a regular pie crust and you start a pumpkin cream. Now let’s go, go, go.”
My stew was finally ready so I poured a half of a cup of stew into three separate bowls. I put a piece of thin crusty bread on top so I could get good presentation points from the three judges.
I was finally going on to slice my bread when I heard a big clash. One of the sue chefs had knocked the pumpkin cream pie over so it had been ruined. I was about to yell at them when suddenly something popped into my mind: “Kenley, you need to focus and not be so self centered when it comes to cooking. Cooking is supposed to be fun, but when something goes wrong it turns into teamwork.” Chef Batoli had said those exact words when I walked out of the door yesterday, and I was beginning to think that he was right. So I thought to myself and told myself that it was okay and that accidents happen.
“Everyone, it’s okay we can clean this up and start over. I will keep cutting the bread and the two of you can begin the pie.”
I placed the three pieces of bread on three glass plates.
“Five minutes.” The lady said making me panic.
I went over to where the pie was being made and quickly began to help. We finished the pie right in time as the bell rung.
The three judges were journalist from the New York Times food section so I had to impress them.
Robby was up first he got a three out of five on his creativity, a twelve out of sixteen on his presentation, and then he got a ten out of fifteen on his food. So in total he got a twenty-five out of thirty-six possible points.
Then, it was my turn. The judge really thought that my frozen pumpkin cream pie was really creative so I got a five out of five on this category. Then there came my presentation. This was the category I had struggled with the most giving me an eleven out of sixteen possible points. I was a little discouraged with that happening but then came my actual food. When Rob said fifteen out of fifteen I got really excited in fact I jumped up and down.
“Kenley you get an extra five points for your wonderful teamwork at the end. So congratulations, Iron Chef Kenley you have won Iron Chef America.”
I shook Robby’s hand and then left the stadium with satisfactory inside myself not just because of my cooking but because of my ability to work as a team and get a task done. Chef Batoli taught me something. He taught me that thinking with other people and working as a team is the greatest prize of life.