Friday, October 27, 2006

Day 18 of PCA II – Jimmy Buffet!! No just our Buffet :)

Well tonight was our buffet and I think it went fantastic! It was 10 times better than the other buffet we went to of the same class. Our flavors were off the hook. I only got a few pictures of us prepping and of our guests.

We even made Jamaican Tea. This stuff is addicting! I have never had it before and I swear I drank a gallon. I made the cornbread and churros and then helped out where needed and kept myself in the back of the house. There were a lot of folks that came last night which was good to see, especially because they get to see what we do. I wish they’d let them come in early and watch us prep so they have a really good idea of what goes into one of these events, because they just see the end results.

Kudo’s to Lynndy and her world famous hushpuppies (wink wink nudge nudge)! They went like hotcakes. Carrie made fresh tortillas. I filled one up with the carnitas, talk about flavor. Marcella made sopa’s. I had never had one of these, they’re really good. And Johnny made Indian fry bread. We really had a lot of different dishes going on and it was nice because it wasn’t just everything listed in the book. We got to branch out a bit. We branched out so much that our Carnitas which should have been beef became pork. I’m not sure how that happened but they tasted great so I didn’t care.

I also brought in decorations for the tables. Forgot to get a picture of those. I got small white candles and put 4 jalapeno chilies around the edge and then 4 red chilies in a star pattern around the candle. I then took a red checker table cloth and cut large squares of them and put the white plates with the candles and chilies on top of that. I also brought in caramels to spread out on the tables. I think they looked really good. At least this way the tables weren’t big empty blocks of wood. The serving table long red table cloths on with round red checkered ones on top of that. Then the chaffing dishes went on top of those.

The only confusing issue for the night was the servers who made certain dishes were up front serving. But we didn’t have a meeting before we got started so none of us runners knew where the extra food was. So when someone called out “I need more ribs” we had no idea what oven they were in. We had 9 ovens to check. Of course it’s always the last one you look in. And then..well why would you keep looking which of course makes it the last one…

I hope the Chefs were proud, they seemed to be. We’re learning more and more about flavor. I use a lot of salt when eating food and I now know why. Food you buy in a restaurant is rarely seasoned. They just cook up the ingredients and throw them out to the customers. But in quality restaurants the chefs taste everything before it goes out and add salt or pepper or whatever is needed for the dish. When I eat food that we’ve prepared and properly season I don’t need to add salt.

One kind of scary incident was when Scott was eating a piece of the fry bread and cut his tongue pretty good on it. Now how we don’t know as there shouldn’t have been anything sharp in the bread, but whatever it was did a number on him. I’m just very happy (in an odd sort of way) that it happened to ‘one of us’ than to one of our guests. That would have been a nightmare, particularly if it had been one of the kids. I hope the Chefs reiterate how important it is to keep your station(s) clean and neat.

We’re down to the last week of actual cooking and learning new stuff and then the following week (first week in Nov.) is our finals for PCA II. Can you believe that?! It seems like yesterday I started this blog not almost 12 weeks ago.

Tomorrow is stuffed pork tenderloin and game hens. Sounds delish!

Until tomorrow!...

Chef Romero checks for proper temperatures. Chef Rorschach (back ground) ensure students are on task.

The doors open and the fun begins.

The 'back of the house'. Oh boys will be boys. Here we have from left to right - Andy, Eddie, Scott and Edgar.

Our guests are enjoying a good meal. Posted by Picasa


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