Day 9: Preserve This.
Got to my locker only to realize I did NOT bring any socks with me! I had to raw dog it ALL day. My dogs were without socks, stuck in the clogs, barking for a break. I didn’t have time to run out and buy socks like I desperately did last week for $14! (Dad you didn’t hear that). I had NO other choice, but to pretend I was ok.
Today was a day of grades. We got our test grades back AND we got evaluated by Cheff Jeff on our technical skills and professional skills. I’m going to make you wait to find out my grade just like he did till the end of the day and now till the end of the email! (No cheaters--don’t scroll down).
We learned all about food preservation today. We pickled vegetables, cured salmon, prepared duck confit, finished our French onion soup, and made brandade. If you’ve never had brandade- it tastes really really good. It is basically an emulsion of cured cod (fish) with olive oil mashed into potatoes. So, picture mashed potatoes with delicious smashed cod into it (taste a lot better than it sounds). I was paired up with Pandora who I really enjoy working with because she is super chill and on top of her cooking game, but at the same time fun. Our brandade turned out fabulous and was the perfect consistency! You are supposed to serve it normally as an appetizer with little breads or Chef Jeff even said stuff it into a grilled cheese! (Caution: Mouth watering).
We then prepared our ingredients and cure for the duck confit that we will finish making tomorrow. We had to trim the fat off the duck and cut from the foot and thighbones in order to expose the bone for the confit. The cure to rub all over the bad boy aka the “duck” consisted of salt, minced garlic, crushed bay leaf, crushed peppercorns, etc. Then we put them in the fridge to marinate overnight. After this we got to go each lunch at the buffet the level four students made for the entire school. It isn’t everyday that we get to go up and choose our own food. We normally just get whatever is brought down to us at level 1 aka the leftovers. I am NOT complaining free food is good food even though my tuition is technically paying for it. Today I took a stroll down to the SOUTH- yeeeehaw! Finger licking good shrimp and grits! Carrot Cake with cream cheese frosting, duck and waffles, goat cheese and jalapeno fritters, roasted beet salad, watermelon, and fajitas! Also, we ate our French onion soup. This was the ultimate smorgasbord or a melting mot of amazingness. Ughh No- I did not finish every on my plate). However, after lunch between trying all my dishes and eating the buffet… I was ready to pass out and the heat in the kitchen wasn’t helping my cause.
In the afternoon, we worked on our tournage (sigh). Also, we made cod fritters with a spicy mayo sauce to go along with it. DEEEELISHHHIOUS. Cod Fritters for days! While we were working on our potatoes, Cheff Jeff pulled us each individually outside to go over our evaluation. One of our assignments last night was to fill out an evaluation for myself. I don’t know if any of you have ever had to do that, but golly it is hard. I wanted to give myself straight 10s, but as my friend Molly says I have “two left hands” in the kitchen. The grading school basically anything under 7 means you fail to meet minimal proficiency. You can rate yourself at an 8.5 or a 7.9 as well, doesn’t only have to be whole numbers. We don’t discriminate in culinary school.
I must really not be giving myself ANY credit because apparently I earned an…. Wait for it….. 83% on my technical skills and for my professional skills…. Wait for it…. A 93%. UHHH as Charlie Sheen would say “Winnnning”. Embietta (mom) and D.Dubbs (Dad) do NOT fall out of your chairs, but I got a perfect 10 in “respect” that’s right hit it Aretha Franklin R-E-S-P-E-C-T find out what it means to me (respect, just a little bit baby). I told you I am NOT disrespectful. As for my written test grade- the French terms go the best of me and I got two 10 point questions WRONG because I mixed up defining the terms =/… got a C+ (but remember, c’s get degrees… Brett and Stephen don’t listen to that… doesn’t apply in college). The feedback Chef Jeff did gave me was that I need to stay focused (shocker!)- story of my life. I am the last one on the list and he did the evalutions in ABC order, so when I got to him he said “ Saved the hardest for last” hahahaha.
Chef Jeff is leaving for a week on vacation. We will be having two chefs in his place… let’s see how this goes.