Monday, August 2, 2010

Block 3: Week 1 - Sauces

Block 3 is another busy block. Just like Block 2, we are put into groups of five, and we rotate through four stations again - sauces, stocks, soups, and cold salads.

I started off in Sauces. I am working with a totally different group of people from last block, but so far, we haven't really had to work together quite like last block. And somehow, I am in a group of four again.

Each day, we have three or four sauces that we need to make individually. We make each of the mother sauces (bechamel, veloute, tomato, espagnole, and hollandaise), and then use them to make secondary sauces.

The first day, I made tomato sauce and espagnole sauce (brown sauce). I was also supposed to make a chasseur sauce (a mushroom sauce), but the first day was filled with orientation-type things, and I just ran out of time. It was additionally stressful for me because I was the sous-chef. Each day, one student is the sous-chef, and it is their responsibility to get the orders from the store room and put them away first thing in the morning, as well as write down what everyone did each day, clean the fridge, and put together a new order list for the next day.

The second day, I started off behind because I had to make the chasseur sauce that I didn't make the day before. I also had to make provencale sauce, demi glaze, and glace de viande. Provencale is essentially tomato sauce with some white wine, garlic, shallots, and herbs - pretty delicious. Demi glaze is a 50/50 mixture of brown sauce and brown veal stock that you reduce by half, and glace de viande is brown veal stock reduced by 90% until it becomes very gelatinous and flavourful. Both are used to add flavour and colour to other sauces. It would have been a pretty easy day if I hadn't started off behind, especially because the demi glaze and the glace de viande were cooked in one of the big stock kettles, so it took probably half the time it would have had I cooked it on the stove.

The third day, I made chicken and fish veloute, and then used them to make supreme sauce and saffron sauce, respectively. The supreme sauce is my favourite - chicken veloute mixed with onions, white wine, and whipping cream. So good.

Thursday I made bechamel sauce. Our chef made a bet on the first day of the block that someone would burn bechamel this month. I definitely did not want that to be me. It's a really easy sauce to make, basically milk thickened with a roux, but you really have to just stand there and stir it until it's done. The milk wants to stick to the bottom of the pan, so you literally cannot leave it alone for a minute. Thankfully, mine turned out great, and not burnt :) I then used the bechamel to make mornay sauce (bechamel with gruyere and parmesan cheese) and cheddar cheese sauce.

Friday was an easy day - I just had to make hollandaise sauce and garlic butter.

Our class is definitely getting closer too, which makes the days at school fun. I was nervous when starting school that everyone would be younger than me and that I'd be the only one taking school seriously, but while most of my class really is younger than me, we all get along really well. I laugh a lot at school. It's great.

Next week - cold salads.


  1. You laugh more than if you were doing, say... checking pension valuation test cases? How about projecting liabilities a bajillion years out... more than that even? No way..


    Seriously,I'm going to be stopping by your restaurant some day to try that crab omelette.

  2. Definitely stop by. It's a nice brunch menu.