Sonia Gonzalez Winter 2017 Blog
by Sonia V. Gonzalez, March 23, 2017
Today, I completed my last day at Kendall College and I can’t help but feel sad. I reflected back to when I first started at Kendall in April 2016. It’s hard to believe a year has come and go. I made so many friends and worked with some great chefs. This is why I’m sad because my time at Kendall has come to an end and the people I see every day will be sorely missed. I didn’t expect to make so many new friends, since I am a lot older than the average student at Kendall. Everyone treated me like a regular student and I have shared so many great memories with them and I hoping to continue these friendships that I made. The people you meet at school are also your networking tool for years to come.
I want to share with all of you my final quarter at Kendall. This last quarter was the “icing on the cake”. I had the pleasure to cook in the fine dining kitchen for 5 weeks. I chose the dinner service, which is the most popular dining time in the Fine Dining Kitchen. I used my skills that I acquired at Kendall to prepare some great dishes. I also had to come up with my own special (see below).
I made an appetizer dish, Shrimp Ceviche with guacamole and fried plantains. I ran the special for two days and sold out. This was a great experience and my friends and family dined during my dinner service. I was honored to have them taste the food I learned to cook at Kendall. It was a great experience that I will never forget.
I also worked in the “front of the house” in the fine dining room as a server. I learned to take food orders, set a table, fold linens, take reservations and be a bartender for a day. This was a great experience and it helps you understand what the customers want and how important the front of the house is to your success in your own restaurant.
My last class was QSR service, which means quick service restaurant. I was able to apply my skills that I learned in fine dining to this class. As a class we plated over 150 plates and we broke a record one day and plated 197 plates in an hour. I learned to set up my stations in order to make the foods to order in a timely fashion. I also had the honor of making a special.
Chef wanted us to make a dish that has a history and represents our culinary style. I made a Jibarito sandwich with steak, caramelized onions, lettuce tomato and chipotle mayo serviced with a side of rice (Arroz con Gandules). This dish represents my Puerto Rican heritage. Instead of bread we use fried plantains and the rice, Arroz con Gandules is a signature dish for Puerto Ricans during events and the holidays.