Cooking Class 12: New Chef

Change is good they say and he says. This new CHEF was a bit more forward and wanted things a certain way but nothing less than the other CHEF. He gave us his rules pages–hilarious. Yes SENSEI, YES MR SIR, YES GENERAL. He even gave us his business card. I love it.

Once we exchanged pleasantries we moved on to our knife skills. Today’s skill involved what I call micro chopping-or what they call mincing, to the max. I minced so small that it was like a wet mess. All the moisture was pouring out. Man I chopped like a Bushido warrior, some serious Japanese knife skills. Seriously though, we chopped shallots, garlic and parsley. I got a few excellent nods. This was nice to bring back my morale from the day before when I farted through my exam.

Then we did some potatoes, and guess what–morale booster, my potatoes we great. I just have to practice to maintain it. Then we took a break and just rested. Chopping takes a lot out of you. After break we cooked proteins. We prepared chickens and flank steak. I got another opportunity to cut up a chicken. This time I was like a chicken magician. I popped the legs and thighs out and this time only 5% butchering the breast while taking it apart, and had a nicely carved bone. Then we proceeded to cook the breasts and steak.

We seasoned briefly with white pepper and salt then put in a pan with a little oil. We cooked 80%, flipped, cooked another 5% then finished 15% in the oven. We put the whole Saute pan in there to finish. Then with the left over fond in the pan, we added shallots, then red wine and let it cook for a minute or so. Then we added veal/ chx stock and then 1tblsp of butter and let that cook till it reduced to a somewhat thick sauce. We plated the meat on top of that. Man Chef had a decent lunch. After all the tastings, he must have had 1 good piece of steak and a whole chicken breast.

We practiced this exercise for a few hours. It takes this long because the cooking space is small so you have to do a dance with the rest of your team and constantly yell out–hot pan, behind you, opening oven, coming through.

Why at first eye I like this Chef, he thinks like me. 1) why do we waste a lot of food and plastic containers (containers can be washed in the dishwasher we happen to have) 2) he is about quality and learning the proper technique rather than doing all the recipes in the lesson plan. what good is it if we do 9 recipes and rush but miss vital parts because we have to split the recipes up to get them all done 3) he likes a clean place and he cleans himself. 4) he comes around and checks out what you are doing

So this is a good thing and I hope this module is fun and filled with learning.

Okay, got to run and read about what else, food and technique. I am writing this week about best fats to cook -not for taste, but for different types of cooking. Some fats cannot get too hot or they burn and a kitchen fire is not fun at all.

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