I think that I am at a moment where I should start to master the basics and have some real cuisine knowledge – Saturday’s session at Le Zephyr was somewhat difficult for me….not too much work – quite the opposite and for me it was an opportunity missed to get a bit of experience at working the hot plates. The problem was that quite simply I don’t remember what goes in the plate for different dishes…..I am still asking regularly what plate to use, etc. Not good enough and I really must get this sorted out. For me to be able to develop my culinary craft (i.e. able to be creative in the professional kitchen) I must first of all master the basics of how to organise myself in the kitchen and to organise / order / plan my production (i.e. know how to “construct” the various dishes that are on the menu and to make sure that ).
Some things that I aim to achieve in the next few weeks….
* learn thoroughly the basic sauces (for example, I was sure that I knew how to prepare the sauce béarnaise : well, yes I knew the different ingredients and approx. the different stages….but I didn’t understand or “feel” the sauce….I don’t know if you know what I mean, but I do and that’s what counts – it’s an emulsion which is a sauce created, essentially, out of the fusion of a water-based product and a fat-based productI need to prepare these sauces regularly so that it becomes part of me. Then I can start to imagine new sauces….;-)
* fish : learn the basics on the fish which are on the menu at La Fontaine – Bar / Sea Bass, Merlan / Whiting, Merlu-Colin / Hake (which becomes Morue in France when it is salted), Rouget / Snapper, Sole.
* learn “by heart” how the starters and puddings (Le Zephyr only, since I don’t have to be able to do sweets at La Fontaine) are presented at Le Zephyr and La Fontaine.
All of that said, a quick rundown of what I have done during the last 2 sessions at work (at Le Zephyr Saturday and La Fontaine today)….
* filleted a whole salmon (3,5KG), took off the skin, preparation of a tartare
* deboned chicken leg
* finished the béarnaise sauce (starting from the reduction which was done earlier in the day) – liaison avec l’émulsion d’oeuf, ajout de l’eau, monter jusqu’à une sauce firme, ajout du beurre clarifié d’un seul coup et bien intégré
* prepared from start to finish my own recipie for Rice Pudding (see recipie 2), even though we didn’t sell a single one all night !!
* prepared (clean out and fillet whilst keeping the 2 fillets joined together by the skin) 30 or so Red Mullets / Rougets
* listened to the orders coming in even though we were busier today than at any point last week – 80 covers.
Anyway, better leave it at that since I’ve got a brief meeting with the chef tomorrow morning at 7h40.