The Culinary Institute Roommate

culinaryWhen I moved to New York City, I searched Craigslist for a roommate. I made a quick decision on an apartment when I met its accompanying roommate, a young woman whose profession might just have been one of the most significant foils to my flaw.

During the typical get to know you banter, I discovered she worked at the Culinary Institute. She was also a waitress at a chic West Village Restaurant. I’m fairly certain I tuned out the remainder of our conversation after I heard Culinary and Institute in the same sentence.

As a recent college grad without much experience in the kitchen, I had delusional visions of grand meals prepared by celebrity chefs in training. Hosted at our apartment, these oyster, parsnip, and foie gras (I had never had foie gras in my life) dinner parties would attract an equally elegant looking crowd.

At that moment, meals were optional so the prospect of a roommate who not only cooked, but might be an expert in the kitchen was too good to be true. I signed the lease, her happy, hungry subtenant, only to discover her professional career at the Culinary Institute involved chopping up words, not food. Her job entailed editing student resumes. While she was helping to launch the careers of these future chefs, she was not in the kitchen with them. 

In fact, when it came to cooking, she was my equal in futility. Suffice it to say, we didn’t enjoy extravagant roommate dinners on West 4th Street, but at least, she did edit my resumé.


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