Day 7: Meet Carlos, My BFF.
Chef Jeff insisted that we switch kitchen stations because some of us (aka me, Noah, Carlos, etc) ONLY work at specific stations (I’m superstitious and didn’t want to move). But, today I had to move because he said we had to. I decided to finally work with Carlos (37 year old who doesn’t look a day over 25). At first, I wasn’t sure if I liked working with him because he was bossy and IMMEDIETLY made me into the sous chef and him the executive. Now, I did say “Woah Carlos… you’re being really intense”. He laughed and said he’d chill out. However, I learned SO much from working with him. He helped me do everything, we were tearing it up together! We only spoke in Spanish too with a little bit of English here and there when I didn’t understand certain kitchen terms. He liked keeping me focused and motivated I could tell because if not I’d chat it up and chill (why aren’t you surprised).
Today we learned about Sabayons. A sabayon is a whipped form of egg yolk. We focused on these sauces: Hollandaise, mayonnaise, Buerre blanc (butter sauce), a sweet sabayon, and a Bearnaise sauce. By the end of the day, I could NOT look at another egg yolk. These sauces are ALL made with raw egg yolk that is whipped in with other ingredients. I do NOT like YOLK (no, not even sunny side up, breaking the yolk and dipping it in bread). I tried my best not to think about the yolk when tasting the final product. Hollandaise and Bearnasie sauces are prepared in the same fashion expect hollandaise you add lemon and with Bearnaise you reduce white wine. Both are used with A LOT of BUTTER… I repeat A LOT of Butter. Now I know why my Daddy and Stephen always order EXTRA Hollandaise or Bearnaise sauce with their steak! (Shoutout to the Palm of Bay Harbor for introducing these sauces to me). When making all of these sauces, I was working with Carlos. He really kept me on my toes and put a pep in my step because I was afraid if I didn’t all hell would break lose and the Dominican Embassy would be after him for hurting me.
My favorite sauce today was the Beurre Blanc because it was basically pure butter and reduced shallots/ white vinegar ALL mixed together! It was fire burning on the dance floor good. Probably because it didn’t have egg yolk.Next we made a sweet sabayon sauce. Just thinking about the sauce makes my mouth salivate. My family WOULD LOVE this. We always order berries and cream for dessert anywhere we go if it is on the menu. My mom even bought a cream hand-whipper gadget to make our own concoction at home, that’s how much we like it! This sweet sabayon was a delicious take on our classic dessert dish. Chef Jeff (as always) demonstrated first. Then he sent us back to our stations and told us to go crazy when it came time to plating our strawberries. He set them up in a classic triangle style. He said “Go crazy- arrange them however you want”. But, then he pointed at ME and said, “You! Stay SANE!”. HHAHAHHAH CHEFF JEFF REALLY? ARE YOU CALLING ME CRAZY WITHOUT HAVING TO TRY TO BE? Why geesh thanks! That’s the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me!?
So, we started our sauce- separate egg yolk, add marsala (wine), add sugar- whisk ALL together over a hot water bath. Keep whisking. Don’t stop whisking. Switch arms from right to left. Now back left to right. Keep whisking. “Don’t stop till you get enough”-Michael Jackson. More whisking. It’s not thick enough. Add water. The color is not right. Whisk. Whisk. Okay, looks good... but you may want to keep whisking. Whisk faster to get more volume until it’s the consistency of whipped cream. When we were done we plated it and then used a blowtorch to harden the top and give it a burnt look. (Picture: See- I didn’t go TOO crazy- just used the strawberries to spell out the letter E haha). Also, I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t finish this entire plate in .2 seconds (this was before lunch at around 10:30 in the morning mind you).
Tomorrow is our first exam! Wish me luck- or better yet please buy me Rosetta Stone in French, so that memorizing names/terms won’t be as hard! We also are making soups tomorrow (French onion- woot woot and split pea- holler! Two of my favorites).
I’m hungry now! E. Dubbs