Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 55: Kickin' it up a Notch

Another restaurant day, this time the Chefs gave us more dishes to prepare and pushed us harder. I'm getting the hang of it, especially on the organization and visualizing end of things. Just like teaching, it's a lot of prep to get there, but once you begin everything falls into place. 

The way restaurant day works is that you prep for dishes. We prepped for four dishes, three of each. One of the Chefs will give your stove an order, "Stove 13! Two quail, one duxelle!" We then rush to quickly and efficiently fill this order. (Usually, as we're filling this one, another is called.) The trick is, all the food must be done at the same time, so it takes careful timing, strategy, and communication between stovemates - no plates getting cold as you plate your mousse!

When done, one person takes the food to the pass, which is a Chef, and they'll pick over it. Lukewarm food! Cold plates! Sauces are too thick or too thin! Undressed greens! All go back to the kitchen - usually with a smart remark, "What's this? Looks like hospital food!" All dishes are fixed, and re-presented, all the while you have to continue on the next dishes!

It's hot, it's stressful, but it can also be a fun challenge. We don't get upset when something comes back, it's part of the learning process. The two times my plates have come back, it's for undressed greens.  Oops!

Because this course is almost over, tomorrow there'll be another restaurant day. this is to help prepare us for our last week, when we'll be preparing our own creations over three days for industry professionals. These working Chefs will actually grade us and give us feedback on our dishes! 

I tried sweetbreads for the first time today. 
They were good! 
I can't say I'd order them in a restaurant, 
but I can appreciate why people love them. 

My group's dishes!

Stuffed quail - there are no bones inside, only those drumsticks!

*Note to self: Chocolate mousse quenelles
 look like poo.

The aftermath.


  1. Glad to see you are getting practice washing the dishes. ; )

  2. Yeah, the 'poo' is not so appetizing.

  3. I plated my salmon rilette a little off center and Chef C said "I hope you don't shoot a rifle!" Ha ha! No, I only shoot my mouth off...

    Cute blog!!