Day 77: A Working Girl in a Restaurant
The crossover into level 5 has officially gone down. Pandora, Tyler, and I joined Olivia and Mayo who are in level 6 in the pastry station. We will be at the pastry station for the next four days working on the desserts for the school’s restaurant called L’ecole. Yes, everyone, I am officially a working girl in a restaurant and man can it get hectic. After having been given the tour of Joe’s Stone Crab kitchen this past weekend in Miami- those seasoned professionals make us look like freshmen walking around campus looking for their classes on the first day of school. All right, all right, I’ll cut us some slack- we looked more like jellyfish swimming all over the ocean. Thank the lord, I was in pastry because it is located in the back of the kitchen pretty secluded from the hot line and garde manger station which can get all hurricane Andrew on you. You have to walk through the main hot line kitchen to get to the garde manger station, which leads to the pastry station. Picture walking through the color red aka fire- the hot line then entering into orange- garde manger a little more relaxed to the pastry room the color of yellow (yes- trying to create a rainbow illusion).
Pandora, Tyler, and I were in charge of making two of the four desserts we offer. We made the lemon tart crème brulee with a graham cracker tart and the ricotta mousse cake with passion fruit and a poppy seed anglaise. Both deserts are quite nice, but I prefer the lemon tart crème brulee. On top of the ricotta mousse cake are passion fruit and pinenut meringues. Chef Nick had Pandora and I make a big batch of them. It took us three tries and we STILL did not get it right! Don’t ask. First, we didn’t whip the egg whites and sugar long enough and we already had folded in the pine nuts and passion fruit, so we couldn’t re-whip it in the machine again. The second time, we got the whipping correct, but didn’t realize that the oven was on and we browned the meringues before they were able to dry out. Now the third time, we left them in too long or someone turned the oven on and again brown and again ruin. Whomp. Whomp. Whomp.
The restaurant opens at 12, but the desert orders don’t start to come in till about 12:40. Chef allowed us to make molten lava chocolate cakes, so that we could learn how to make them! The trick is not to cook them for too long- 8 minutes tops and to put chocolate chips in the batter (while in the mold), so that when it melts the chocolate really oozes out. I’ll take four of those please- what ever they are called… chocolate heaven in your mouth… that’s what. They aren’t even on the menu. We were just bored back there whipping up anything our hearts desired. Once the orders starting coming in, it was fun trying to get the food out, but boy was it repetitive making the same dish over and over. I guess that is how restaurants build consistency and stamina in their dishes. I was busy carrying the tray back and forth to the line, which was fun!
Tomorrow, who knows what fun adventures we will be up to in the pastry section. Oh, we also made Chef Nick’s grandmother’s chocolate chip cookie recipe. It was scrumptious.