Summer Associate, Brian Trujillo

Last night, the summer associates joined alumni from previous summer associate classes at Two Chefs for a group cooking class. Having about fifteen people work together to make a full dinner with starters, entrées, and desserts sounds more chaotic than it really was. Quite frankly, not only was the process of banding together to cook a great meal a smooth one, it was also a deeply enjoyable one.

Unlike what you see in Hell’s Kitchen, cooking as a team is actually incredibly enjoyable. Admittedly, it probably helped that Gordon Ramsay wasn’t breathing down our necks critiquing our food as being “stone cold.” Side note, I am the biggest Gordon Ramsay fan in town, but I’ll happily keep my distance from him in the kitchen, thank you very much. I much prefer the experience we had last night.

The timing was perfect. Right before the big move to the Magic City I set a goal of improving my culinary skills. So, it helps that yesterday I learned how to make the most amazing tostones combo imaginable (tostones, avocado, and salmon). Also, I have it on good authority that my tostones were “cooked to perfection” (as Ramsay would say). To be fair, the dish I made had no more than 3 ingredients. But still, I did okay.

Perhaps more important than the good food and wine was the company, and we were surrounded by some of the best company you can ask for. The conversation topics ranged from asking Alexandra Barshel about how to avoid major kitchen failures to Jennifer Junger’s Instagram page for her new puppy. Lauren Sabella and Luis Reyes talked to us about making the transition from summer associate to associate. They also emphasized the importance of being intentional about enjoying periods of rest as they come. The time spent together was centered around simply enjoying each other’s company, and it was perfect.

On par with Bilzin Sumberg’s theme of equipping us for the future, it goes without saying that I learned a lot last night. Sure, I walked out feeling like my tostones were going to land me my first Michelin star. However, I also learned a lot about the people around me. I learned that this community extends far beyond a work relationship; Bilzin Sumberg is truly a place for deep meaningful relationships. I also came to fully appreciate the fact that we are genuinely welcomed and supported by everyone here.

So, while it is true that the summer associate alumni event at Two Chefs can be a great excuse to perfect our chocolate soufflé making skills (Jay Sakalo), I know that the purpose is for us to be intentional about setting a time to build community and break bread as a family.