Just as the biggest day of my culinary career is about to approach today, I wake up unable to swallow on Saturday. Oh dear lord! Really? This can NOT be happening. My glands are as swollen as golf balls and I am weaker than the Israelites walking out of the desert famished. Quickly, call my dad… who has to consult with his doctor brother, my uncle Howard, who then calls me to give him my symptoms and then calls my dad back, who then finally tells me what to do. So, I do it… but I tried to tell my dad this is NOT an ordinary sore throat, this is a REALLY bad one. I go to the urgent care that my dear from Lauren recommends to me (thanks Zo) and low and behold my test comes back positive and I have STREP THROAT! Panic flushes over me. I get prescribed a ZPACK and take it immediately. Well, I’ve taken double to amount to increase my recovery rate and I SOMEHOW, by the graces of g-d was able to pull off my midterm exam today on antibiotics and all (yes, I wore gloves… no I’m not contagious anymore).
I must have slept a total of 3 solid hours last night because I was tossing and turning trying to shut my brain off from reading the recipes over and over in my head. To freaking out that I am not going to make it through the day and get hot flashes/ pass out because I am not 100% feeling well. It was a mess, but 7:30am rolled around and I hopped out of bed with a no excuses/ team no sleep type of mentality. I’m not redoing level 3 even if you paid me. The fact that I chose out of a hat station A5 did NOT surprise me because I knew I would choose that all along. I always do. It is my beyond favorite number for way too many reasons ( E- 5th letter of alphabet, birthday= May (5th month), day 5—yes Cinco de Mayo, born on Friday 5th day of the week, 5th grandchild on my dad’s side, the list goes on forever.. you get the point). The minute I saw that I had that 5 on my side, I knew everylittle was gonna be alright! My two dishes were potage culitvateur and Poulet Roti Grand-Mere (Farmer’s vegetable soup and roasted chicken). Out of the two course combinations, I randomly chose the harder one out of a hat as opposed to papillote (fish baked in the parchment paper) and apple tart. Oh well, at least I proved it to myself that I can handle the kitchen even when I am under the weather.
The judges for today were former students of Chef Veronica that came through the program. When I got my feedback back, the 4 of them told me that out of all the soups- mine was their favorite and most flavorful! I almost peed myself! Oh happy days… oh happy days! In the soup went, carrots (tile shaped), turnips (tile shaped), potato (tile shaped), leeks (thinly sliced), peas, string beans (cut to the size of a pea), bacon (thinly sliced), celery (thinly sliced), chervil, and I think that’s all. We had to make our own vegetable stock as the base of our soup and sweat all our vegetables to achieve flavor. Guess I did a good job sweating those babies out- can you smell what the rock is cooking!? (Wrestling reference). On my chicken, I did a nice job on it as well. It was nice, brown, and crispy. The garniture was cooked nicely (onions glacer a brun, mushrooms, and lardon of bacon). My potato cocottes were a little over cooked and one even fell apart, but still fine nonetheless. My jus was yummy, but could have been reduced down a little. My presentation was puuurddy. So, I am pretty thrilled with how the day went. Chef Veronica hasn’t posted the grades yet… oh wait I just checked… I got a 91% woot woot pull over that booty too fat! If only I could go a have me a glass of wine tonight to celebrate, but I can’t because of my antibiotics- so please have one for me!
LEVEL 4- ready or NOT here I come… you can’t hide. I’m going to find you! Level 4 is buffet and family meal (where you feed the entire school lunch).