Thursday, March 10, 2011

Today was the last day of regular classes for me at L'Ecole Culinaire.  That means that I don't have to get up at 5:00 a.m. for awhile.  On Monday we start a new phase where we work in the school's restaurant.  We will have to rotate around so that everyone does every position, front and back of house.  Should be interesting and very educational.  I can't wait!  

We had finals this week.  For our practical we could make anything we wanted with whatever ingredients were on hand in the lab--except, of course, we had no keep it healthy, so hardly any butter, salt, or cream.  Some of my classmates did a great job!  Their finished products looked like they came out of magazines.

Mine wasn't very pretty but I thought it was tasty!  I was inspired by this tart in Feast (made, coincidentally, by the chef I replaced at Ernesto's) but I needed to make a quick whole grain crust.  I looked around the internet for a quinoa crust and for a brown rice one for backup because I couldn't remember if we had quinoa in the lab.  Since I was right about the quinoa and I wanted to keep it vegetarian but a complete meal, I cooked some white beans and chopped them up to mix in.  I meant to sprinkle them on top but got distracted and let them cook dry but not burnt.  The sauce is pesto (with added fresh oregano and parsley) and the toppings are asparagus ribbons, leek slices, ricotta & parmesan cheeses, and a couple of other things but I have brain farts.  I love that the tart in the article was green and wanted that look.  Chef thought it needed more color and that I needed more starch in the crust.  I like the crust idea a lot and I am going to work on it more at home.  I'm going to make the one in the article sometime, too.  It looks so good!  And so pretty!

We were left unattended in lecture this morning.  Seems like they would know better than that by now...

Ben & me (I am not that huge!):

As usual, the last day of class is our cleaning day.  The whole lab gets scrubbed and the early morning class does everything from the shoulders up--including greasy hoods.  Too much fun!

You can't see that this is a soap bubble fight.

Francis did not continue with the degree program but left when he earned his certificate after our last phase.  He stopped by to see us today.

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