New Year's Goal: Become an "official" Gourmess by August 2010

I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate.
--Julia Child

So, here's the deal. I purchased a 496-page textbook called, "The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine." It is by the French Culinary Institute and presents the six- and nine-week courses taught at the FCI that cover all 250 basic techniques of French cooking. Along with more than 650 full-color photographs, the book features more than 200 classic recipes as well as new recipes developed by some of the school's most famous deans/graduates. (Jacques Pepin, Jacques Torres, Alice Waters, Alan Richman, Bobby Flay, Wylie Dufresne, etc.)

Apparently, the book reflects very closely the first quarter of the FCI's curriculum, which is then practiced and refined and expanded over the next 3 quarters. So, since I don't have $50K and 6 months of free time to attend cooking school, I thought I'd try it this way. I know it won't replace actually attending the FCI, but if I can work hard enough and learn all of the fundamentals, I'm sure it will be worthwhile. My goal is to master these techniques by the end of August 2010, in time for my 32nd birthday, as a nod to our dear Julia Child.

Now, I'm not going to get all Julie & Julia on you -- but I am going to use this blog to record my progress and hopefully we can all learn a thing or two. I read the introduction to the book yesterday, and it is recommended that one reads through the entire book TWICE and then reads over the recipes TWICE, before even starting to cook. So, once I get through all the reading and memorization, and purchase all of the tools and pans and materials I need, we'll get started with the cooking.

Happy New Year, and wish me luck!