Yesterday was my final in basic kitchen skills and knife skills. Easy peasy stuff, even if the fresh tarragon really threw most of my class for a loop. I scored well, and I believe I’m in the top three of the class on that work so far. I’m hoping I can keep it up through the harder classes which really separate the wheat from the chaff around here. A friend and I stayed late after class to see what the Garden Club was all about since they were prepping for a fundraiser breakfast. We didn’t do much, and much to my dismay I found myself having an argument with an upperclassman about whether her carving knife was serrated. It’s not, it’s got a granton edge. She didn’t believe me and swore it was serrated and continuted to butcher some quick breads for the breakfast service. We didn’t end up serving those pumpkin breads at all. (As a total aside, after this I made a trip to my favorite restuarant supply, told them what happened and had a good giggle while I ordered a Forschner offset serrated bread knife to add to my kit. It appears I’ll need it.)
Today was the beginning of all kitchen, all the time. I ended up working as a sort of demi sous-chef, helping our newly appointed sous with tasks like prepping the kitchen out and tasking out the other teams. We made two pots of stock – veal and chicken, and while those simmered we launched into a shellfish (shrimp and lobster) and white fish (looked like the remenants of a flounder) stocks. The kitchen was total and complete chaos, and I found myself in charge of the roasting pan deglazing – running four pans of veal bones myself while helping out another student who was on one. It was a high – so much in fact that when I finally got done today and the kitchen was spotless – I got home and promptly collapsed. I need to work back up to being on my feet in a fast paced environment – it’s been a long while. I can honestly say I loved it though.
We sampled a buffet put on by the garde manger class. The smoked salmon was divine, as was the lobster americain. The game sausage was good, but overcooked and therefore tough. Some of the terrines were pretty good, and I’m finding I actually have a taste for them. Who would have thought? Most of my classmates complained and refused to eat anything that wasn’t familiar. Shame really. I’m cautious on some things because I’ve personally gotten ill in the student restaurant and witnessed some less than savory practices, but I’m still willing to try EVERYTHING. Especially the exotic protiens that I have trouble sourcing for home use. Anyone know where to get rabbit in Tulsa, Oklahoma? I’ve got a few recipes I really want to try out without having to raise the little buggers in the backyard.