Cooking with Jason

Friday, November 10, 2006

So close!

Admit it. You're dying to know -- did Jason ace the Wines final?

Yes and no. I correctly answered 69 of the 70 questions, so technically no. However, way back on the first test, everyone in the class received a free correct answer because Professor Weiss felt bad about not being in class the day before the test. Having aced the first three tests, I cashed in my freebie on the final and thus my grade will show up as 70 out of 70, so sort of yes.

Sadly, I lost one point on my food and wine paring paper (from Monday's lunch), leaving my final grade in the class at 99%. And it wasn't even that my pairing was wrong, either. I picked a port and a madeira as my alternate pairings for the dessert course, but those are both fortified wines. I needed to pick a fortified and then a late harvest, ice wine, or botrytis wine. Bummer.

In other related news, I'm starting at Arlington Wine & Liquor on Tuesday afternoon. I dropped by today both to pick up a bottle of port and to introduce myself to Bob, the fine wines manager. He informed me that because I'm coming in with more knowledge than most new hires, they're going to start me off in France/Spain/Italy rather than the boring new world. Yikes! I'd better study.

I'm also starting a wine log to track everything I taste. I have detailed notes from the ~100 wines we tasted in class, so I'll start there, plus two reds and two ports I've bought myself in the last month. I think I'm officially a nerd.


  • Hey Jason,

    I actually started reading this via the USSMariner. But since I have a love of cooking and food I really enjoy this blog as well.

    Anyway, I've been meaning to ask you what knives you use. I've become kind of addicted recently to kitchen cutlery and wondered what people in the CIA use.

    By Blogger andrew, at 2:39 PM  

  • Hey Andrew,

    The stuff we get issued at school is just OK. I can't remember the brand, but it's nothing special. Though, they just switched to a new knife kit, with CIA-branded stuff. It looks better, but I haven't used it much.

    Anyway, the two knives I really like are my Global 8" ( and a 6.5" Wusthoff Culinar Santoku ( I got the Global as a gift and bought the Wusthoff while I was on extern. Neither one is really a workhorse -- they're both pretty delicate, so I save my CIA-issued knife for heavy duty stuff -- but keep a really good edge and fit my hand well.

    If you're looking to buy, I defitely suggest trying out different brands and styles in the store before plunking down $100 on a knife.

    By Blogger JMB, at 6:08 PM  

  • I've become pretty obsessed with Japanese knives lately. I started slow with a Shun and Global paring knife. Then I went crazy and now have a Tosagata carbon steel santoku, a Kershaw Yanagiba, a Hiromoto Gyuto, and a Tojiro Nakiri. I still own a Henkel's chef knife that I use as a beater, but plan on replacing it with a heavy Chinese cleaver.

    I agree that they are a little more fragile, but I can sure get them super sharp on the water stones!

    I was just curious if anyone in the industry had moved over to Japanese blades.

    By Blogger andrew, at 8:41 AM  

  • Hey Jason, what's been going on in your class lately? You haven't wrote a new post in over a month. Sooo, what's going on?

    By Blogger Coach Owens, at 7:19 PM  

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