Welcome to my tales of cookery school, food and travel

The first 30+ posts of this blog describe my experiences as I complete a nine month cooking course - the City and Guilds Diploma in Food Preparation and Culinary Art. I did this after I moved out of full time employment and it was purely selfish - I love food, cooking, eating and drinking. Subsequent posts are about, food, travel and adventures.

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Sunday, 14 August 2011

Week 5: Averting Disaster

No cooking this week, which is perhaps just as well after the excitement of last week! Instead we have a morning of fascinating theory focused on health and safety, which only makes me even more paranoid about the potential hazards lurking in the kitchen workplace ....and we haven't done Food Safety yet......

The next day Smokey the Bear from Fire Watch takes Fire Safety, a two hour session - he fails to set the class alight. Dreadful pun, but you know what I mean. He starts by telling us he is a grumpy bugger and doesn't do a great deal to disprove it. You can imagine how that goes down with the class. It's unfortunate really, as glimmers of a sense of humour shine through and he clearly knows his stuff very well.

The real takeaway from this session for me is the speed at which fires spread. To drive this point home Smokey shows us a video of the 1985 Bradford stadium fire. This is on You Tube  - link below - so you can frighten yourselves. The fire is first noticed at about one minute 30 seconds into the video and less than five minutes later the whole stand is ablaze. It would be spectacular if it wasn't so tragic. Over 50 people died in that fire, apparently because the fire doors under the stadium had been locked to prevent people sneaking in for free. As I watch this again today the brainless celebration of some of the football crowd in the video put me in mind of the recreational rioting in the UK this week.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11UP99uHMuI&feature=related

I learn a lot about what extinguisher to use for which type of fire, and hope I never have to use one. In any case, we do get to practice putting out a small hob fire (outside with a portable set of gas burners, not in the kitchen itself I hasten to add)  so I am more confident about using a fire extinguisher now. In fact am just off to buy one for the house!

Back in the kitchen next week as we move on to roasting and braising.