Thursday, January 21, 2010

Oh, the Possibilities

Veal Sweetbreads

I’ve been remiss here. I’m finding that work and school and life are such a juggling act, that on the scale of priority, blogging tends to fall somewhere between flossing my teeth and organizing my sock drawer. But while I have minutes to spare, I had some thoughts on school. One culinary course down, a second course begun. I am officially in love. It doesn't hurt that I did very well in Stocks, Soups and Sauces, which bolstered my confidence immensely. But I'm also getting into the rhythm of things now and I realize I wouldn't trade this experience for the world.

First, I want to once again thank everyone who offered their insight for my food trends paper. The assignment was to pick a topic and find magazine articles supporting your topic, and make an argument either way. The chef said that mine was an excellent paper. She said I was the only one who took the time to think outside the box of the articles. I got a 100. So, to Joe, Bun and Matt: thank you!

Sometimes Bad Things Happen to Good Chickens

After we received our papers last week, we took our final exam and completed our practical. In the morning: knife cuts and a soup. Our team chose vichyssoise and my soup turned out quite nice, thank you very much. After lunch, it was 2 sauces. I was assigned hollandaise and mornay. I was so happy I could have cried. The white sauces I knew, and felt fairly confident about. The brown sauces, well...

Oyster Rockefeller

Chef was pleased with my hollandaise, especially after my Week 2 debacle, where I kept attempting hollandaise and inadvertently making scrambled eggs. Yuck. This time, I did it just right. The texture and viscosity were perfect. I went a little heavy on the lemon juice, but it wasn't detrimental to the overall flavor. The mornay was a success as well – for the most part. Chef said that again, the texture and viscosity were perfect. But I didn’t cook my roux for long enough, and as a result, the mornay had a slightly chalky taste. But I’m still pleased with the results of my practical!

Course #2: Essentials of Dining Room. This is where we learn front of the house. I have to confess, I was a bit apprehensive about this. I have never waitressed a day in my life, I’m a little bit uncoordinated, and oh yeah – I’m deaf in one ear. But the surprise of a lifetime: I loved it! I love the ettiquette and protocol. I love making people feel warm and welcomed. I love expressing myself through food. This Sunday, I’ll do my best to take some photos in the dining room.

Until then folks!


David Dadekian said...

Very impressive, Kate. I envy what you're doing. My favorite roux timing trick is to have a drink while making the roux. The time it takes to finish is good whisking time. I learned it in the South, so maybe it's not French. :) I've heard Emeril cook the color of his roux based on the number of beers: 1 beer blonde roux, 3 beers brick roux . . .

Stacey Doyle said...

Congrats Kate,

I am so excited for this journey you are on!
I'm also really happy that I get to taste test. Happy Tummy :)

I am so proud of you, Kate!!

Stacey Doyle

ps. my verification word was: comyle

Lisa Ryan said...

I've been waiting to hear how you are doing- some day perhaps we'll see you on Top Chef! It all sounds so exciting - good for you!


Kate Lowther said...

Thank you all! David, I'm loving your roux making tips. And they're convenient because I do make it a point to always cook with drink in hand!

Melina said...

I don't even like Oysters but that last pic makes it look yummy - which I am sure it was! Congrats Kate, I am glad you began waitressing with a bang!! And despite the teasing I knew you'd be awesome!