No Typical Student

No Typical Student

Chefs & Experts

No Typical Student

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Allison Cox is serving a 18-week externship at The Food Channel® as part of her training at the Culinary Institute of America. In this blog she will provide her perspective on her inclination toward food, her training, and her experiences. You never know what you’ll learn!


p(left caption). Allison prepares Fresh Basil Vinaigrette in The Food Channel Kitchens

Last week: Allison talked about her introduction to the Culinary Institute of America, and how she quickly immersed herself in the experience. To read it, click here.

Who Is a Typical CIA Student?

At first, it seemed like the student body is so diverse—in age, nationality, personality, etc.—that I wondered how we all got to the same place. Then I started to see that we were all the same: completely obsessed with food.

You would think that after a long day of classes and studying and even work, all revolving around food, that the last thing we’d want to talk about in our free time is food, but we can’t help ourselves. For the first time, I could talk with someone about ‘what is the real definition of a custard?’ Does it have to have dairy? Eggs? What about a curd? And the people around me actually cared, too. While driving around town to run errands, my friends would critique local restaurants, right down to the subtleties of menu descriptions and seasonality of dishes.

Real Men Are Passionate… About Mousse

I vividly remember one particular day, when I was still new to the CIA but getting into a routine. I was walking to class, and there were two 20-something guys, who were dressed like they were about hunt down a deer or take their four-wheelers out for a spin. They looked tough and spoke with a deep voice and southern accent, and as I walked by, I realized they were arguing over the ratios for mousses, and it was a heated conversation about which they each had a clear opinion.

It made me realize that there is not a particular look, sound, or demeanor to identify a food lover. It’s just a shared nuttiness over food, the insatiable quest to sample new flavors, and the shameless desire to create great food. I’m completely over the moon that I get to be a part of it.

Next week: The Importance of Being Nice.

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