Olesay | 2016 ScholarStories
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C-CAP OLESAY

INTERNSHIP 2016

First off, I would like to thank C-CAP and OLESAY along with the entire team @Restaurante Sant Pau de Carme Ruscalleda for this life changing opportunity.  I have had the pleasure of traveling across the world to stage at a 3 Michelin Star restaurant, under the guidance of some of the best chefs in the world.  Chef Ruscalleda currently holds 7 Michelin Stars, 3@ Restaurante Sant Pau, 2@ Moments Mandarin Oriental in Barcelona, and 2 @Restaurante Sant Pau Tokyo!!  Her entire team is extremely dedicated to her vision and love for food as well as her guests.

Around mid November of 2015 I remember reading an e-mail from C-CAP asking if I would like to travel to Spain, as it intrigued me I began to read and felt as if God was saying this is for you!!  As an alumni from 2000, I just made the requirements to apply for the scholarship.  Little did I know that I would be chosen to be an ambassador for C-CAP abroad.  I had to prepare mentally, and financially to be able to embark on this experience.  I began to save even before knowing that I was awarded the scholarship.  Mentally I knew I would be at one of the toughest kitchens in the world.

Arriving to Spain was a wonderful experience, I was a bit nervous as I had never traveled out of the country other than Mexico.  I was prepared for adventure and exploration.  I met with the ladies from OLESAY who greeted me with a warm welcome and transported me and the other stages to the town where we were going to be living for the next 5 months, Sant Pol De Mar!

Working with this caliber of chefs was difficult for me at first.  I had never experienced this type of kitchen environment, the attention to detail and quality and care of products were new to me.  What I did have, and I believe many C-CAP students embody, is unwavering work ethics, love, and passion for food.  With these core structures, I was able to be successful in the restaurant.  I was first placed on the fish station to assist with set up and break down of the station.  Daily preparation of mis en place, receiving, and fabrication of fish and overall kitchen duties.  We all shared a part of the day to day operations, which included receiving produce, dairy, dry goods, trash duties, floor duties, window duties, and staff meals.  There was nothing that they would ask for me to do that I was not willing to do!  It showed my dedication and willingness to learn what they were trying to teach me.

I stayed on that station for about 2 months, later I was placed in the Pastry Department.  I had never worked in pastries but was willing to do what was asked!  I jumped right in and of course nothing was perfect at first, and they understood that I was going to be learning.  I was to be working on the cheese course which was called the “Disco” a play on the musical ballet that the menu was a spin on.  The dish consisted of a paint made of fruit chutney pureed with eggplant ash, home made tupei (which is a blend of sheeps, goat, and cows milk cheeses) that are blended until smooth with Orujo (a liquor made of grapes) EVOO and spices.

Just as I began to perfect the dish the menu was set to change. Always developing, growing, and changing!! It was great to see how all the chefs would come together to collaborate with their ideas and see them come to life. The following menu would be a play on famous pictorial artists of Spain. My dish was now a cremoso of toasted almonds, white chocolate, chestnuts and sea water and clitoria flower ice cream. This dish was consistently evolving and growing.

I stayed on that station for about 2 months, later I was placed in the Pastry Department.  I had never worked in pastries but was willing to do what was asked!  I jumped right in and of course nothing was perfect at first, and they understood that I was going to be learning.  I was to be working on the cheese course which was called the “Disco” a play on the musical ballet that the menu was a spin on.  The dish consisted of a paint made of fruit chutney pureed with eggplant ash, home made tupei (which is a blend of sheeps, goat, and cows milk cheeses) that are blended until smooth with Orujo (a liquor made of grapes) EVOO and spices.

I also learned that these Chefs are never prideful in their creations.  They are always learning and growing and staying open minded to the development of their dishes.  They understand that with out failure there cannot be success.

If you are preparing to embark on this journey, please understand that it is not going to be easy at all.  If it were easy it wouldn’t be worth it!  This opportunity will open new doors for your career and personal growth!  Do your best, enjoy every moment especially on your days off to travel throughout the cities and Europe if possible.  The transit system is very affordable and much better than here in the states.  Be prepared to eat some of the best food in the world, experience different cultures, and meet friends that will also last a life time!!  Best of luck C-CAP FOR LIFE!!

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