Saturday, October 23, 2010

Block 6: Week 1 - Fish

Block 6 is definitely not my favourite block. We are cooking lunch in the cafeteria, so it is basically the exact same as Block 4, but we make more portions because lunch is a lot busier than dinner. The food just isn't very exciting. The recipes are better than Block 4 though, which is good. Our chef, who we will have for the first two weeks, is pretty nice, and he actually gives me constructive feedback, which I definitely like.

I started off in the fish station. This week, I made poached salmon with white wine sauce and sauteed vegetable julienne, pan fried trout with almonds and brown butter sauce, fish cakes with dijon hollandaise, and fish brochettes with an orange ginger glaze. I was also on the lunch line this week, so I was serving lunch to the customers. I had a lot more fun than when we served at dinner because lunch is so much busier, and I kinda like interacting with all the people.

I miss my group from last block. My new group is definitely not as strong. I'm getting to work with a couple of people I've never worked with before, which is good, but it can be frustrating at times working with people who need their hands held more.

At the hotel, I was alone this week on Thursday. It was busy because they had a couple of banquets that night. I sliced smoked duck breast for a canape, prepared a fruit display, and made rosti potatoes to be used in another canape - it was a rosti sandwich with smoked salmon in the middle, which would later be seared and then served with a creme fraiche. Painstaking to make, and I stayed an hour late to finish them, but they would probably look really good finished, and probably pretty tasty too.

I got to participate in a couple of cool events this week as well. On Monday, I helped out a practice event for the junior culinary Team Canada. Basically, they were practicing plating their dishes and we were there to write out their recipes. I helped out the team preparing the appetizer, and it was an insane dish. So many components. I probably can't even remember them all - a pheasant consomme gel with mushrooms and chervil, ravioli with a lobster cream foam, microgreen salad with prawn and scallop ceviche and citrus vinaigrette, and sous vide pheasant breast and lobster. Pretty crazy. And yesterday, I was asked to help out with a Chaine competition being held at school. It was a young chefs competition, and it was black box. I was only there for the end, when competitors were plating their dishes, and I helped transport the finished dishes to the judges. It was pretty intense, watching them get their plates together in the allotted time, and watching them being judged on their every move in the kitchen. A lot of chefs from different hotels and restaurants were there as judges, which was cool. I learned a lot just being there, even for a short time. They all seemed like very talented young chefs.

Next week - egg and pasta station.

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