The Start of My Culinary Career

First day of school, we start with introducing ourselves, and getting to know the chefs. In class, there is from high school graduates, to people like me, who are going through their second career. As mentioned in my last post, first day of school, and first quote from Chef  WELCOME TO THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, and I start to panic because I have no formal cooking experience.
I love cooking and love mostly sharing it with family and friends, so I truly believe is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

End of week three at school, and I am thinking how many skills I have learned this days, from knife cutting techniques, kitchen cleaning and organization (which will make my home cooking way much easier), to techniques like pan searing, difference between purees and creams, learning how to do consommes, clear consommes, let me repeat that, VERY clear consommes, the composition of canapes… and most importantly doing gnocchis (YUM! I am never buying packaged gnocchis again).  Week 1 passed by with no knife cuts (YAY for me, Knife 0 – 1 Me). End of week 2, I had knife cuts and burns, which is fun by the way. (Its funny now, wasn’t before). I also learned how to de-bone a chicken, which was very challenging and interesting (just the thought of it, was freaking me out) Now I cant wait for meat butchery days! Oh, and farm days, I am very interested in learning more about farm to table.

I still need to improve a lot of things, like my confidence when cooking and following instructions or recipes, my speed and having in my head very clear what is the next step, knife cutting (I need to be consistent with the size, I am still practicing). Anybody out there need diced carrots? I have a lot, by the way! Besides the language challenge, I have the challenge to learn more about herbs and species that I had never used or heard of before. I am very thankful to my classmates and chefs, who all have been very kind, when I have questions, or only need reassurance of the following steps, and some quick feedback on how I am doing.

Who said that eating a salad is boring??

A brief summary and pictures of my first Composed Salad:

Buckwheat cracker (dehydrated buckwheat grains) with a mesclun (green mix), orange and lime segments with chickpeas, diced cucumbers, peeled tomatos, arugula, alfalfa sprouts, apple, cooked yellow beet and toasted pecans.  As a garnish: biased green onions, and fried tomato peel.

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What is a Composed Salad?

What differentiates a composed salad from a simple green salad is that you always want to have the following: Mix of greens, a vinaigrette, some kind of protein, vegetables (which could be raw or cooked) and fruits (pickled, raw, dried, macerated)

Advantages of using tomato peel: no food waste, excellent taste, gives your plating a good texture, and most importantly free money. (Just because it was something you were going to throw away)

PS. KITCHEN TIP > Did you know that instead of wasting your money and buying sanitizer you can make your own? Just 1 part bleach and 3 parts water, can also add a teaspoon of baking soda or white vinegar. #kitchentips

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