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….;-)
* cuts of meat : I am starting with beef (33 cuts), moving on to lamb (12 cuts) and then veal (16 cuts).
* 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.
All what I’m reading on your blog sounds like music (I know this is cooking about !)…Hard way but what a good way !…As I use to say “these are hardest ways which are the most enriching”.
I can not really support you technically or in term of methodology but as you can read, waiting for the rigth time in begining of 2008 to taste something (whatever it is !), I’m supporting you mentally.
Garde le cap !