Sorry I haven’t given you words.
This week, I’ve been thinking in tablespoons, dreaming in dishes, making up menus. Last night I was up into the early parts of the morning working on costing out my final project menu…deciphering things like the cost of ⅛ tsp of chili powder per serving on my entree and 2 oz of chocolate in my dessert. I felt like I was back in high school again, although let’s be real, I was much much better at mathematics then. Anyways, I am sure I made it more complicated than necessary, but it has been super insightful thinking about food in numbers and understanding how to successfully make a profit while running a restaurant.
Can you believe that in just one week from today, I will be finished with my final?
All of this aside, I have been well fed this week. Let me tell you about it.
Monday, we worked full lunch service at Island Creek Oyster Bar. I was on hot apps, making parsnip soup and fresh ricotta gnocchi. I kicked myself a few times for asking silly questions to the chefs, like where the “tasting spoons” were. Overall, an exciting, fast-paced experience of working in a grand restaurant kitchen. The ceviche and taro root chips were my favorites.
Tuesday was Middle Eastern day with Chef Cara from Oleana. Homemade hummus, pita, kibbheh, sarmas, lots of bulgur. Yum day.
Today, Wednesday, was our last market basket with Chef Michael Leviton.
The ingredients we had to use were:
- Ramps – what on Earth is this beautiful thing? A wild leek. A spring beauty.
- Whole black sea bass – my chance to roast it whole.
- Squid tubes and tentacles – yikes.
- English peas – I can deal with this.
Funny enough, we all managed to cook the more exotic items somewhat decently, but those gosh darn peas…
“ALL OF YOU, and I mean ALL of you, have served me UNDERCOOKED peas,” remarked Chef. Oops.
a few lot of things…
I learned that using the grill is incredibly simple. Not scary. And that the charred flavor imparts such a lovely contrast in dishes. I also learned that big tongs are necessary – I set my forearms on fire by grabbing the little tongs that I typically like to use.
I realized that I can cook a whole fish, something that I have been wanting to try for awhile. I just need to add way more salt (Salt x 10) and budget enough time for it to cook. FYI, according to chef, a temperature of just under 130 degrees internally is what you need to have it flake cleanly off the bone.
I discovered two new foods that I liked today and had to make a wish. Ramps are so special! Spicy, fresh, and perhaps one of the most beautiful things I have ever eaten. And squid? Who knew I would like it so much. Previously, I had only met calamari in fried form, and I really don’t eat fried food ever. But man oh man, seared squid is delicious, and squid the grill is something else.
Just some food for thought – while ramps are $14 a pound, squid is maybe half that cost. Hmm.
What a week so far. Going home to rest, read up on filter feeders, and dream of summer barbecues.