I’ve been thinking about this post for quite some time now (hilarious, right, because I post so frequently as it is) because this makes it REAL.

After a number of major life changes in the past six months, I’m taking on one more: in less than a month, I’m moving to North Carolina to attend Johnson and Wales University and pursue a degree in Culinary Arts. Yep–I’m going to culinary school! 

Did I just wake up yesterday, decide to move 300 miles from everyone and everything I know to throw down tons of money to learn to chop carrots faster? Not quite.  This is the result of years of dreaming, lots of research and financial planning, and countless conversations with people who have been through it.

It’s exciting and terrifying and a completely different feeling than when I went away to college. Instead of running hair-on-fire from high school, I’m leaving a city that I love and amazing friends that have become family. I’m worrying about health insurance and utility bills instead of dorm rooms and dining halls.  Turns out, I’m a grown-up.

And then I think about standing on my feet in a hot kitchen for 7+ hours a day learning about food–butchering meat, simmering stocks, designing menus–and I get SO excited.

So what do I want to do when I’m done?  How long will I be there? What’s it going to be like? Can you come visit? Will I keep blogging? Hold your horses–we’ll get to all of it.

What do I want to do? 

I want to make food better.  I want to do recipe development-create new and delicious healthy dishes for cookbooks, magazines, or tv shows. I want to make school food better–show kids (and parents) that cheeseburgers 4 times a week when they’re 7 is setting them up for a lifetime of food struggles. Oh, and that vegetables are delicious when they’re not boiled into mush.

How long?

One year–I’m doing an accelerated program called Garnish Your Degree (haha) designed for students who already have a bachelors. You can read more here.

What’s it going to be like?

Classes are 4 days a week, 7-8 hours a day. Two labs (like Foundations or French Cookery) and one more traditional class (like Food Costs or Nutrition) per quarter.  Three quarters of classes + 1 quarter of full-time internship and I’m done!

Do I accept visitors?

Yes! I have a spare bedroom aching to be used.

Will I keep blogging?

YES! I’m hoping to use DTMS as a space to document all my schooling adventures. I don’t know a soul in NC, so I fully anticipate I’ll become a blog/social media addict.

Wait–what about Manfriend?

There’s no way I’d be here without his encouragement and support. He was the one that made it possible to have my dream become reality.

He’s also not so secretly looking forward to the amped up dinners he’ll be feasting on after this is all over.

So that’s the scoop! Manfriend, Mad Dog, and I are making the big move together, so I highly recommend following me on twitter  (@kleighmc) if you’d like to bear witness all the cross-country antics.


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