Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Block 11: Week 1 - Entrees

Block 11 - last block. Less than a month left of school. It is crazy how fast it has gone by.

Block 11 seems like it'll be a nice way to finish off the program. We're cooking dinner in JJ's, and it's not a really busy time of year, so service is pretty easy. Our chef is kind of the opposite of the previous chef - very relaxed and mellow. My group is totally different too, and probably the strongest group I've had in a long time. I finally don't feel like I have to babysit someone everyday.

Entree station cooked duck breast, halibut, lamb stuffed with garlic and herbs, and chick pea curry. There was a party that came in on Thursday, so we prepared a large amuse bouche for them - a deconstructed nicoise salad. It had confit albacore tuna, confit tomatoes, fingerling potatoes, frisee and green bean salad, nicoise olives, deep fried capers, and the highlight for me was the hard-boiled egg, which was steeped over night in saffron tea to make it a beautiful orange-red colour on the outside. A and a couple of friends came in for dinner on Thursday for A's birthday, and they really enjoyed the salad.

The best night this week was Tuesday - A and I went to Bao Bei for an early birthday dinner. I didn't know much about the restaurant expect that it was modern Chinese and had been voted one of the top ten new restaurants in Canada, so I was pleasantly surprised by everything. Tuesday was a rainy night and by the time I was out of school, we didn't end up getting to the restaurant until almost 9, so we were expecting it to be pretty dead, but it was actually full and we had to sit at the bar. The bartender was funny in an awkward kind of way, so we thought he was pretty entertaining. The menu was cool too - lots of word play, like my cocktail was called a John Wein, and our noodle dish was called Dan Dan Revolution. The food was pretty delicious, and just what we wanted for dinner. My favourite was the duck consomme with duck wontons. Amazing.

Next week - appetizers.

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