This afternoon four colleagues and I judged a chef competition at my school. The contestants were teams of students getting ready to graduate and make their way into the culinary world. I've had a few of the students in my culinary management classes but this was the first time I was asked to evaluate their cooking.
One of the best parts of the lunch was eating in one of our school's huge industrial kitchens. I wish my mom could have been there too because I know she would have loved seeing the students prepare the dishes, present them to us, explain the ingredients, and then to be part of our judging discussion.
One thing I learned is that I'm a hard judge to please. It surprised me how seriously I took my assignment and how firm I was with my scores. I suppose this comes from having high expectations as a restaurant patron. Interestingly, in class, I think I grade a lot easier. Perhaps it is because I have a quarter-long relationship with those students.
As the judges were leaving one of the students said, "thank you Ms. Kweskin." So sweet! Students usually just call me Amy but in the kitchen greetings are much more formal. Thankfully I had already handed in my score cards.