I know I have been very bad at posting lately but I am back and have lots to tell you about. In my last post a mentioned my class had a service coming up and it was definitely something you will want to hear about. During our three days on service my team was assigned to dinning room duty, as in being waiters and waitresses in addition to preparing canapes and hors d’oeuvres for all the guests. So my group got to work and established what we would be preparing. We settles on mini egg rolls with plum sauce, mini Monte Carlo potatoes, smoked salmon tartar on cucumber cups and finally a shrimp canapé with a Greek fish roe spread. While I knew these dishes would pose some challenges I was much more concerned for being a wait staff, and rightfully so!
The day prior to service was very hectic. All the mise-en-place was prepared and the team tried to organize everything as best as possible so we would not need to scramble the following morning. Despite our best efforts, the day of service arrived and we were not even near adequately organized. We rushed around the kitchen trying to find ingredients for a last minute sauce, since our plum jam (the main ingredient in the plum sauce) did not arrive in our order. I had to chop up all the smoked salmon, make the cucumber cups, and assemble the whole thing, while one of my team made deep fired the egg rolls and the others baked potatoes and began setting up the dinning room.There was a race against the clock to finish all the finger foods, and ensure the dinning room was perfectly organized before the firsts guests arrived at noon. I was sweating by the time lunch began.
Although I am a culinary student, there is no slacking when it comes to perfecting the art of waitressing, according to my Chef instructor. I got a brief and firm introduction to the appropriate serving methods, and I was told that all my moves would be evaluated. I attempted to make a mental note of all the pointers but as soon as the guests walked in my nerves got the best of me. One of the major serving faux pas, is passing food across the table. At one point during the service I walked over to my table with two plates in my hands and gave one to the first customer, as I put it down the customer sitting across from me put out her hands to receive her plate. I stopped dead in my tracks, what was I to do? My teacher was watching me and I could not decide whether I should give the lady her plate across the table or refuse it to her till I had the chance to walk around and give it to her properly. And, of course I made the wrong decision. As I handed the customer her plate over the table, my teacher let out a huge grunt, startling both myself and the innocent customer. My Chef, was appalled a my actions, and despite my best efforts to explain my side of the story she was not pleased. I went through the rest of service on edge, fearing I would make another fatal error.
After a relaxing weekend, we began our dessert module. Everyone loves dessert, and I am no exception. I learn how to make cookies, biscotti, pastry cream, butter cream, meringues, gluten free treats and even molten chocolate cakes in the span of just a few days. There were not any major disasters that took place doing desserts, so my teachers were pretty impressed with our skills. There were however, several instances of people sneaking off with many cookies in their mouths that were not meant for our consumption. I believe dessert week was the calm before the storm, the meat module!
Yesterday meat began. While only two days into this topic already I have seen a great deal. We started off by making sausages, both Italian and Chorizo. I had never seen this process take place and it was a special experience. I do not want to go into graphic detail but for all of those not in the know, natural sausage casings are intestines! I will let the photos do the rest of the talking on this one.
Tomorrow we take a break from meat to prepare for our next service coming up this Thursday and Friday. We are preparing some wonderful dishes and I would love for you to come and sample our offerings! Stop by for a three course meal you are sure to enjoy, I would love to meet you!