Tuesday, April 28, 2009

End of the Semester!

So I finished the semester last week and with the exception of work (and some yard work for the parents), I've spent the past 5 days doing nothing. I'm really at a loss at what to write right now. Pretty much it came down to copying and pasting the Facebook note I wrote about the Blind Basket or my obsevation on Flay and Bourdain. I figured that I would re-post the Blind Baskte on to shed some closure on all the posts I'd made about school.


for those of you who don't know I had my practical exam last night. It was hectic and kinda stressful and exhilarating and exciting all at the same time.

It was like an episode of Chopped (kinda). We go in, Cheff Dunn gives us our items that we have no idea of what they are ahead of time and then are let loose. It went great. I probably could've worked cleaner and been more organized. But thats me. My whole life is perpetually slightly untidy so yeah.

Our items were 1 chicken breast, 1 duck breast, a fillet of fish (I totally forgot what kind it was), 2 grains from the grain cart and half a tomato (they were left over from the graduation dinner and chef wanted to get rid of them I guess). And at least an ounce of cheese.

For my soup I ended up doing the Vegan Miso soup like I did last time. I didn't see any leeks in the walk in when I first ran in (my original idea was to do vicyssoise), so I figured why mess with a good thing. IT wasn't until I had gotten well underway with it that I went in the walk in looking for cucumbers for the original plan for my salad that I saw leeks and got kind of mad at myself for missing them. But it happens. Regardless, I knocked out the soup but didn't really do a garnish other than chopped chives (most which splashed out en route to chef :(.

My salad I ended up doing a duck salad. I chopped up the tomato to serve as the base. then put mixed greens in a red wine vinagerette. I origininally was going to smoke the duck breast but I kinda lit the smoker on fire. No seriously, I opened it up and there was a small little fire down by the wood chips. Luckily for me, one of the adujunct staff members was in the kitchen putting together a hoers douveres menu and she helped me put it out (so to my knowledge chef never found out). In stead I ended up slicing the duck meat and sauteeing it then putting it on the salad and grated the cheese on top.

My appetizer I wasn't happy with. I grilled the chicken, sliced it and then cooked the polenta and put it in a small cup. Not very inspiring. bleh.

My entree I was real happy with. I cooked rice for my starch. Sauteed the fish, then made a veloute sauce and put it over the fish. Then I sauteed (and slightly burnt) asparagus.

For my soup he said that the miso soups are normally garnished with black soy beans, or seaweed, but otherwise the soup itself was MUCH better than the practice. My salad he said he liked and that I redeemed myself with my dressing. The chicken and polenta tasted good. He agreeed with me to do a different presentation, to which I pointed out that if I were to do it again I'd probably incorperate the tomatoes in there somehow. The entree he liked. My fish was slightly over cooked, and he liked the veloute. But went on to point out that one of the faults that they as teachers made was that they taught us how to make it, but didn't teach us how to use it. And that most chefs would use it to make another sauce. So yeah, that wasn't my fault.

Oh and then we were supposed to tourne two potatoes but I totally forgot. Oops heh.

All in all I was happy with things (except the appetizer). Chef thought they tasted good and said that since the practice Blind Basket I improved the most!


Overall I was happy with how I did, and how much I improved. Also afterwards I think I bonded a little more with some of my classmates. After he tasted our food we were able to go into the dining room and eat it. And seriously, the 10 or so minutes I was in there eating just shooting the shit with my classmates was probably one of the more entertaining 10 minutes of the quarter. Seriously if this is what my future holds as far as the socializing aspects are concerned (eating and conversing with other cooks/chefs) then I'm totally pumped for this business.