Saturday, September 12, 2009

Chef of the Day

So yesterday I was chef of the day in my class. It meant that among other things, I got to plan the plating design, the garnishes, keep track of refrigerator and food temperatures, and keep an eye on everything to make sure it was all up to code. Hate to toot my own horn, but I think I did a pretty stellar job considering it was only our second day of service. I was assertive, knew exactly what I was looking for, and sent back plates to the servers when I wasn't pleased with how they looked (not enough sauce, too must pasta, etc). Just like a real chef :) Check out some haphazardly taking photographs from yesterday's service...

Spanish-Style Braised Cod and Spanish Rice

Chicken Cacciatore and Porcini Risotto

Rabbit Ragu with Pappardelle

Greek-Style Seafood Stew with Fettuccine with Vegetable Ragu

"Pork and Beans": Cataplana (Pork and Clams) with Greek Beans with Potatoes, Tomatoes, and Carrots
Rolled Veal Scallops with Spicy Braised Cauliflower and Potatoes

Although I'm enjoying the cooking and learning, and service is pretty exciting, I am absolutely not a fan of the cleaning. It's pretty insane, we have to clean the ovens and stoves every single day, hose down the floors with soapy water, rinse and squeegee, scour pots and pans, etc. It's really intensive and takes a long time. By the time class finishes, I want to just collapse. Sometimes I have another class afterward, and this exhaustion makes it quite difficult to make it to the gym on days when I completely plan on going. This isn't a joke. Although I know how to cook, these classes are very tiring. I had to get up at 5:30am yesterday and was on my feet most of the time until about 1:30pm when we finally got out of class. And as you may recall from my previous post, standing on your feet that long is bad enough, but when you're wearing shoes that give you blisters, it's Hell. In any case, I always knew I didn't want to be a chef in a restaurant. There are other things I'd love to do with my experience, but at least I'm learning very surely now what it can be like to work in a professional kitchen, and this of course is on a really small scale. I can only imagine how tough it can be out in the wild :-/ Stay tuned to see if I make it out alive!


Anonymous said...

It still sounds fun to me! With the cleaning you're definitely getting an upper body workout with the pot scrubbing... Are you serving real customers?

--Rich F.

Victoria K. said...

Other culinary students in a formal dining room are served our food :) I suppose I get a decent amount of exercise in the class without having to go to the gym, but I'd still like to go, haha.

Lucine said...

Dude, you'll rock no matter what you do (I'm so not surprised that you kicked ass with your Chef of the Day duties). And I am totally and completely DROOLING over these pics - can't wait to try whatever you make for us soon!

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