Thursday, January 18, 2007

Day 6 and 7 of APCA

Well on Day 6 we prepped for Day 7 which is service. We did a 4 course service –

Chilled Pea Soup with Pearl Onion Tartlets

Seared Foie Gras (Duck Liver) with Vanilla Confiture of Pears, Grilled Brioche, Forelle Pear Chips with a Banyuls Vinegar reduction

Pan-Roasted Squab (lol pigeon. I think it’s so funny that when it poops on your car it’s a pigeon but when you cook it up and eat it, it’s a squab) with Glazed Cherry Gastrique and Squab Demi-Glace with Grilled Mushrooms and Wild Rice

Profiteroles plate with Chocolate Ice Cream and Hazelnut Mousse, Chocolate Sauce, Jimica Reduction Sauce and Strawberry Glaze

Pumpkin Tiramisu

So the Chef gives our lecture of what is what, history on some of the items, techniques to be used….and then the confusion.

Chef – Does anyone know if yams are smooth or chunky?

Dead Quite

Chef – Anyone at all?

Me – Well doesn’t depend on how you’re using them?

Chef – Well yes, but most of the time yams are smooth.

At this point everyone is reading their recipes because we didn’t see yams in any of them and we all figure she’s going to start giving us a new recipe to add to our service. She does this a lot so we were prepared. Paper was out pens were poised…and then…

Chef – A good way to remember, Yams are smooth and Marmalades are chunky.

That gave us pause….DING!!! Chef do you means Jams?

Chef – Yes

Oh good lord. Now that, that mystery is solved. Everyone in their books wrote down “Yams should be smooth”.

My task for this meal was the Tiramisu. But I had no team. It was just me. Great, one of the weakest bakers in the class and I’m soloing dessert. This should be entertaining. I ask her if she wants me to do a double batch since the recipe makes enough for a serving of about 15. She said “Yes make 2”. Ok I’m on it. Um... “where are the lady fingers at?” I have to what?!?! Ok…breathing…I have to make the lady fingers. Sure that’s something I do a lot of in my spare time. If you’ve never made these..don’t!! Go to Trader Joes or whatever local store you have and BUY THEM! Let me give a glimpse. In one mixer you have 12 egg yolks and some sugar and whipping till ribbons form. Next in another mixer you have 12 egg white whipping to frothy and adding a lot of corn starch and a bit more sugar. Then you get to put these 2 things into a big bowl and fold them together. Not too much..because you still have to fold in your flour. Ok now don’t do what I did. My first tray I actually piped them out into ‘fingers’ and let them bake. They got beautiful color but dried out why too much. Clean my station so I can start on the pumpkin filling. Chef has arrived – “Where is the other batch?” Oh I was able to put both batches into the same mixer Chef. “No the other batch.” That was 2 batches. I made a double and combined them. “I said do 2”. Now at this moment I must have that look of “Are you nuts?!” on my face because I just wasn’t getting it. I did do 2 batches. So seems we have a bit of a communication problem. Seems when she said 2 she meant 2 double batches. DOH!

So I had to go back and get the mixers and start everything again. This threw a major wrench in my timing. I have to get these baked off and cooled so I have the tiramisu assembled and chilled for tomorrow. And I still have to bake Amaretti Cookie topping. But now I’m so far behind that will have to wait till tomorrow. It’s on to assembling the desserts. I have to give a major shout out to Lynndy and Carey who stepped in and helped me by doing my dishes for me. That small gesture helped so very much. Thank you guys!!!!

The night is over, 3 tiramisu’s in the walk-in ready for service.

Day 7 brings us our day of service. We have Andy, Edgar and Gabby on the entrée station. Carey and Johnny on Foie Gras, Lynndy and Eddie on Pea Soup, Janette and Dwayne on profiteroles. Chef will call Order In for each dish. Here’s where I get totally confused. She will ‘order in’ the entrée, then in about 5-8 minutes do a ‘pick-up’ of said item. However for the Foie gras, soup and desserts she will just do an order in and want them plated immediately. Then there’s ‘On Deck’ issue. She only does this with the entrée item and will ask “How many on deck?” Now we didn’t cover this during the ‘briefing’ so we are all clueless. She then explains that on deck means how many do they have total. Total being all those on order and all those on pick-up. Well they weren’t organized to count them out. Not because of lack of trying but because they didn’t know she was going to ask total counts. Took about 15-20 minutes to get that ironed out. The other stations seemed to run very smoothly. Even me. I was so nervous but all went very well. The profiteroles had a couple of snags. I don’t think the two of them were communicating as much so I stepped in to help out where they needed me. I think everyone needs to work on communication. Each cook on the line needs to talk to the ones next to them etc.

I was very happy with the nights service. I believe the food was outstanding and reviews from those enjoying the cuisine said it was great. Can’t argue with happy customers.

Tomorrow we being prepping for yet another night of service. Looks like we’ll be having 4 entrees and 1 dessert. This should be interesting!

Until Then!...


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