Hi there, I’m Diane Snobelen. Culinary student at George Brown college, line cook at Saturday Dinette, hockey player in any free moment I find.
I have always loved food. My mother is a terrible cook, so learning to cook became a necessity if I didn’t want to eat eggs and beans 7 days a week. I was intrigued by the industry and found myself washing dishes and doing prep jobs in the summer months; working through Toronto’s Summerlicious was the hardest 2 weeks of my life. I learned that it was a tough industry full of adrenaline and wonderfully passionate people who are underpaid and overworked.
I decided to peruse my love of programming professionally and left cooking as a hobby, one to nurture in the comfort of my own kitchen. However when I began university I found myself baking bread at 4 in the morning, making fresh pasta on weekends, while making large dinners for events, meetings, and tutoring sessions. As I struggled with the class material, cooking became more than a hobby. It removed all the confusion and pressure. It made me happy. I realized I was studying the wrong subject.
“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”
Since then I have spent a great deal of my time and effort towards learning everything I can about food. There are many fantastic resources out there. One of my favorites, Chefsteps.com, was started by the recipe developers behind the Modernist Cuisine book series. They focus on online workshops, or video series, of the whys and hows of cooking. Some are free to watch and unfortunately some are a paid service. Regardless, they’re scientific, beautifully shot, short videos on a wide variety of subjects like how to sous vide, knife sharpening, smoker-less smoked meats, and even a literal wall of fire they built to cook some pigs. Yeah.
My philosophy in the kitchen is to always expand my horizons by trying new foods and learning new techniques. I am constantly trying new restaurants to see and taste what they serve before going home to emulate it. I ask everyone from taxi drivers to fellow cooks what they love to eat and how I can make it. I am learning to identify flavours and find that balance between textures. Every day is a new food adventure, and this blog will be a way to share my experiences in culinary school and beyond.