Friday, May 22, 2009

caviar used to be the same price as beer

I just turned on my tv for the first time this week. The couch hasnt been sat on, and mail is scattered on my counters, it feels like I haven't been home in days. You can tell it's the end of another block. It surprised me that I was so busy I didn't even get a chance to attend the grand buffet this week. Luckily, it happens every three weeks so I'll go to the next one. 

This morning we had our fish class final exam. Like our meat exam, 10 different fish were put out and we had to identify them and other facts about them including what family they belong to, their activity level, if the bones are good for stock, what type of cutting method used to fillet the fish, etc. Though I felt prepared, I still had some apprehensions going into it, but it ended up working out well. Another important portion of all our exams here is a yield test, we calculate what percent yield we get from a fish being fabricated into a fillet. This tool will help us set menu prices, determine food costs, and other costs required to purchase raw material inventory. Finally, we take a written exam which encompasses all the lectures we had throughout the week. It was nice to get all of it out of the way before fabrication and lecture for the day. We fabricated filets again today, but the tasting was especially exciting since we talked about caviar, including Iranian. :-D

The end of class was bittersweet. All week I loved just listening to Chef Clark tell his stories, the years of experience shining through. It was nice to just listen to his words of wisdom and I'll be sad that I won't have that after today. I am very excited to move onto Skill Development I, one course out of three that builds our fundamental techniques and skills. 

Here are some pictures from the fish room:

These are the bins in the walk in cooler:

Here are some flat fish:

And the general layout of the fabrication room:

Our lecture room is through the glass attached to the fabrication room:

Some of the caviar:

Our tasting plate of different caviars including: 3 types of ostera from the caspian, russia, and the US. Pike fish roe, white fish roe, salmon & trout roe. The other eggs are not allowed to be called caviar because they don't come from the sturgeon:

The value of each of our plates was over $100

And these were our smoked/cured salmon:

Oh, just another week at the culinary, I absolutely LOVE this place!

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