DISCIPLINE and ATTITUDE, the two words that come to my mind when I hear “AHA”. AHA maybe unorthodox compared to other schools, but for a stubborn student like me (including “a few” of my classmates), I can say that their way of teaching is very effective.
Let’s put it this way, the school is a military boot camp, and the chefs? Well, they are the drill sergeants. Before we go to our demo class, we first form a line. Uniform check from head to toe, equipment check, homework, and we always have to know the recipes going to be demod by heart. If not, you have to face the consequences for slacking off. One example is, writing ” I will keep my fingernails trimmed/short all the time” 100-500 times, depending on what you did.
I’ve seen students including myself transform throughout the course. I used to be lazy and laid back, but after a few days I started to improve or at least forced myself to so that I don’t get into trouble.
Learning the basics in cooking is such a breeze, the chefs are great. They give you tips and ideas based on what they have experienced. They let you experience how a real kitchen works and operates. Let’s face it, the professional kitchen isn’t the nicest place to be. AHA prepares us for the pressure and stress that is always present in a real kitchen. The things you have learned in class, will be pointless if you cannot apply that knowledge inside the kitchen. When the tickets/orders start to come in, or when the dinner rush starts for example, you have to be mentally prepared to handle the stress and pressure in order to function and contribute to your team.
When I started my internship, I wasn’t surprised nor culture shocked inside the kitchen. I was already familiar to what was going on. And you always have that sense of fulfillment, you feel proud of yourself for surviving.
Bottomline is, AHA has prepared me for my chosen career. And that is to become not only a chef, but a “world class professional chef!”, every student in AHA knows this line.