I was lucky enough to have an extraordinary group of people in my pro chef class at the New School of Cooking here in Los Angeles. There were 12 of us and we all really liked each other. On many occasions we had to cook in teams. It was impressive how we all worked well together and at the same time were social and chatty. A few of our members, needing to make up the occasional missed class, would sit in with another group. The other group didn’t talk, they weren’t creative and there was no rapport. Lucky us!

We got along so well, we decided to keep in touch after the 6-month course ended with monthly chef dinners. At least we knew all the food would be good! With one graduate opening a food truck, another working on opening his own place and a few more working as private chefs, we knew what we learned would be put to good use and then some. Each of our dinners would be held at somebody’s house and we’d all email our chosen dishes to each other so there would be no doubles.