Thursday, August 12, 2010

Today was the very last day of our 104 phase.  I am very excited to start CUL110 Advanced Quantity Food Preparation, Charcuterie, and Garde Manger on Monday.  We got our books for it today and I've already pored through them.

Yesterday we had a creative cooking day.  We basically cleaned out the fridges and set up a buffet.  Everyone made something different with the supplies on-hand but made enough for the whole class.  Most folks sliced and diced and cooked and truly got creative.  I kept it simple.  It was hot and muggy in there.  I made cookies.  They were basic chocolate chip ones but I added some cinnamon and nutmeg and just a whisper of cayenne.  It was pretty much a love/hate thing for folks with them!  I love a lot of spice but I'm wimpy with very much heat.  I thought the cookies were perfect on flavor!  We had lambchops, pork fritters, kabobs, flounder, salmon, two kinds of slaw, risotto, garlic bread, twice-baked potatoes, other potatoes (sorry--brain fart), steamed broccoli, calamari, chicken tenders, several sauces, and probably other things that I can't think of!  It was all very good and I left school very stuffed!

My over-filled plate (no, I did not eat all of that!):

Today was our cleaning day.  Every class completely scrubs their lab.  The early morning classes have to do everything from the shoulders up so we did the ceilings and the stove hoods.  We took out all of the parts that would come out and washed them and we stood on the stoves to reach and scrub what wouldn't.  Since the last time we cleaned hoods in 101 the school has gone green so our cleaning stuff was so much more pleasant than it was then!  Back then we were all miserable.  Even with gloves on we had sore skin.  I washed my face several times.  Today I didn't wear gloves to clean and had no issues.  Nice!  When we were done cleaning Chef Judy set out a buffet of food that he had made for us.  He's so cool!  We had chicken salad, potato salad, baked beans, slaw, and clam dip.  It was all good!  He's been a good teacher and he's a great cook!  All of our instructors seem to be good people and they all have very interesting culinary experiences but a few are just cool people that you really get attached to.  I like Chef Judy a lot.

We had final exams this week.  Ugh.  Our practical exam was in two parts.  On one day we cooked and plated up a meal.  I did grilled salmon, lemon caper buerre blanc, basmati rice pilaf, and green beans with julienned carrots.  On the other we did knife cuts, made hollandaise, and blanched & shocked broccoli.  I did pretty well.  Chef Judy did words of the day with us all the ten weeks and tested us on them yesterday.  I got the high score (it really does pay to be a bookworm).  My prize is a subscription to Cooks Illustrated.  I'm so excited!  I've been wanting to subscribe to it!  I also got the class high score on our certification test this phase.

It's been a good phase and I've learned a lot but I'm really excited about Garde Manger!

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