Spring is my favorite season by far. Especially after a hard winter, seeing fresh new shoots start to push up through the soil is absolutely exhilarating!
So, I took a stroll through Queen Elizabeth park this weekend to see how the season is coming along. The park is just stone's throw from my house, but I hadn't actually made it over there yet, (shame on me!) This is what I saw...
A tree full of gorgeous pink blossoms...
... and Seasons in the Park. The look of the outside of this restaurant reminds me so much of The Peak restaurant in Hong Kong. There's a plaque on the outside commemorating Clinton and Yeltsin's dinner here during the Vancouver Summit in 1993. Someday I'm going to have brunch here.
Meanwhile, back at school...
Asian Greens Steamed Dumplings
with Ponzu sauce and Ginger Threads
Menu development day. This time with an Asian theme. This one was the most difficult yet, we were given two vegetables we'd never seen before - lovage and fuki.
Our first dish was super simple, it might have passed on other days, but the Chefs were very hard on us today. Their criticisms were well-placed though and I agreed with almost everything they said - except one.
This dish needed more colour and they didn't like the sauce in a bowl, they wanted it reduced down to a thick consistency and squeezed out on the plate. I agree with this whole heartedly, BUT, we were criticized for having fresh ginger as a condiment. This is one of my favorite ways to have dumplings in Taiwan, and dumplings were never served without fresh ginger julienne. Another way in which the palates of nationalities differs.
We were praised for the flavour of our dumplings though, and we actually made out own ponzu by reducing the juice of an orange and some rind and then adding it to light soy sauce.
Steamed Salmon and Spicy Black Bean Sauce
on Quinoa Fried Rice
My partner and I were sure we were going to be criticized for having too much brown under our salmon as the rice and sauce turned out the same colour. The Chefs seemed Ok with that, they just wished there was less quinoa.
Again we were praised on flavour of all the components.
Fuki Fries on Pork Fried Grains with Sweet Miso Sauce
This was our "out there" dish, I totally messed up and cooked the Kasha when it only needed to be toasted. The "fuki fries" were actually quite good, and my partner made the sweet miso sauce, which worked well with at the components. I think we did quite well, having never laid eyes on Fuki before.
*Note the mess in the background, I had no faith this was going to make it to the table in this stack. So I took this picture at our station. It did make it, but waiting for our critique one collapsed. Luckily, I managed to reconstruct it just in time!