Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Block 5: Week 3 - Fish and Poultry

This was a really fun week, and I learned so much. The whole week, we practiced filleting fish and cutting chicken. Each day, we scaled and filleted a whole salmon. It was cool to see how much we improved from the first day to the last. On Monday, we also broke down whole chickens and we also learned how to debone the chicken without breaking the skin, like for a galantine or turducken. On Tuesday, we worked with trout - we filleted them and also deboned them whole to be stuffed. On Wednesday, we filleted rockfish and sole. Rockfish came in whole, head and guts and all, so it was different from the salmon in that we had to use a J-cut to get around the innards. Sole is actually a pretty gross fish. It's a flat fish, so it already looks ugly, with the two eyes on the top of its head, but the worst part was that it was covered in a thick slime. Filleting it wasn't too bad, but the challenge is not cutting into the guts because it has a pretty foul odour. It was not the most pleasant fish to work with at all. Thursday we didn't do anything new, but on Friday, chef brought in a whole halibut, so we saw how to fillet that. Halibut is a flat fish like sole, so it was exactly the same method, just a lot bigger.

At the hotel this week, on Monday, I helped out with pastry for a bit. Basically, I shaped donuts for a few hours in the pasty shop by myself. I got shown the herb garden, and did some prep for a soup. Thursday was pretty slow. There wasn't too much to do. We made butternut squash soup, and I seared some skewers and made a potato gratin (basically a scalloped potato dish). F was working the line for a bit and somehow managed to get us a steak to share for dinner. Yum.

At Canuck Place, the cook I usually work with was away, so I was there all by myself. It was pretty easy since most of the food was already cooked - I just had to put it out and clean it up. But a couple of people came in with special requests, like a vegetarian, and two kids needed their food ground up. Overall, it was a fun night though. And they were very thankful that I was there to help out, so that made it all worthwhile.

A was in Ottawa this week, which was tiring for me, so I didn't go out much. I did however secure my partner for Block 7 (pastry), so I'm happy I won't get stuck with someone I don't like for the whole month.

Next week - breakdown station.

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