Monday, June 15, 2009

we need more skills?

Another three weeks, another new class. Today we started skills 2 with a new Chef, Chef Johnson. Some of my friends had him for fish fabrication class and said that he is very detailed and grades every little thing we do; but I'm glad, since Chef Viverito didn't give us as much feedback as most of us would have liked. I can tell I'll learn a lot from Chef Johnson because he seems to genuinely care about our succeeding and learning how to get better at what we do. I was a little tired today, and to top it off, last night we got extreme thunder and lightening that kept me up  most of the night. As time goes on, we have lost more and more students, which is apparently how it is here, being such a rigorous program. We started skills one with 16 and three weeks later we are down to 9. I guess it shows who can really hack the pressure or not (and we aint seen nothin yet!)

We made glazed beets, demi glaze, braised cabbage, pommes duchesse, and chateau potatoes. It was really weird, maybe it was because we had a different Chef, but we all worked really efficiently today and some things like tourne-ing potatoes that would have given us anxiety before, came a lot easier to us. I think it's the organization on Chef Johnson's part that helps us be better at what we do. I can't imagine some of the students in my class doing this class a week ago, having 5 things going at once didn't seem feasible, but we did it without a problem today.

Here are some pictures from Chef Johnson's demos today.

Chef adding the pureed potatoes into the piping bag:

Then piping the pommes duchesse:

For the glazed beets, we simply boiled them, cubed them, then pan glazed them with some oj, honey, and butter.

The braised cabbage was filled with ingredients such as red wine, red wine vinegar, sugar, onions, and many spices, simmered with a sachet for about 40 minutes.

For our chateau potatoes (the fried ones) we made tournes out of the potatoes (the 7 sided ones) and fried them and tossed with some s&p and minced parsley. Chef said my tournes were really good :-D

The pomme duchesse (the piped potatoes, which remind me of the vegas theme dinner from JMU) were potatoes that you mix with butter and egg yolk, pipe onto a sheet tray and bake until golden brown. 

Here was the tray of items at the beginning of the day:

My braised cabbage working:

Here is Chef's completed plate

And mine... close, no?

The Mediterranean Kitchen was doing the middle east today, so I had some shrimp, which had TONS of garlic, my dad would have loved this dish:

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