Patrick Sutorius Summer Blog 2019
by Patrick Sutorius, August 27, 2019
This past quarter at Kendall College has probably been my best yet at Kendall in numerous ways, and unfortunately my time in the program is coming to a close shortly. Having passed my exams, I will finish classes in the coming weeks and start my 10-week internship at Monteverde. The quarter has flown by but the experience gained has been immense and when I look back, I think I will remember these couple months as the time I made it over the learning curve. Over the last quarter, I have performed a couple stages with ranging experiences.
My first came at Monteverde and fortunately for me, it came on a night that Chef Sarah was hosting a party of Bravo TV representatives, in addition to a normal number of reservations. Having no prior experience in a restaurant working on the line, I had nothing to compare it to, but the other line cooks said at the end of the night that it was one of the busiest nights they had all year. I was offered an internship position on the spot and though I didn’t immediately accept the offer, I knew Monteverde was a place where I would not only learn, but could also thrive.
The next stage was with Sweet Baby Ray’s Catering, an opportunity I took advantage of after meeting one of their reps at the job fair at Kendall. A very different experience than a restaurant setting, but also quite a challenge to put together over 200 catered meals over the course of a morning. I have worked a catering job before but certainly not at this scale. It was hard and fast work, but a fun environment to work in and required different skills and mentality than at Monteverde.
The latest stage was at Oriole, a fine dining restaurant in Fulton Market that serves an 11-course tasting menu. I was very fortunate to get the opportunity to stage here as my uncle is friends with the Sommelier there and put me in touch with Chef Noah there. What an experience. First, I had never been to or staged at a restaurant with a tasting menu, so it was very technical and delicate plates we were putting together. But after prep was done and service was starting, Chef Noah allowed me to plate for service. So many beautiful plates of delicious and inspired dishes. The biggest surprise came towards the end of service when Chef Noah told me to change into my street clothes and go to the host’s stand to be sat for the full 11-course dinner…with wine pairings…for free. One of the best meals of my life, especially given the value. Only downside was I had no one to share it with.
Outside of the stages I have done, this quarter has been my best and favorite due to the final course in the curriculum, Fine Dining. Working/learning in the Kendall College Dining Room for the last couple weeks has been an absolute blast and has been the closest thing to real-world kitchen experience thus far. Chef Peggy has been a great instructor and it has been a pleasure to be in her class. What has been the highlight is this past weekend, when I had seven of my closest friends come to the Dining Room for dinner. Obviously, one of the main reasons why I started at Kendall was my pure love for food and cooking, but another was due to the experiences I have had around the dinner table with friends and family throughout my life. It was always a driving force and a dream for me since I stared at Kendall to cook a full meal for friends/family and realizing that this past weekend was better than I imagined. They had a great time and ate some pretty darn good food.
It’s been a privilege and huge help to be offered this KCT scholarship and this past quarter, it has allowed me to spend more time focusing on culinary-related ventures and school, instead of chasing part-time work just for a paycheck. I look forward to finishing my class curriculum at Kendall in the next two weeks and completing my internship in the fall. Kendall has prepared me well and I am chomping at the bit to get in a restaurant full time and begin my culinary career in full.