Sunday, February 13, 2011

Day 75-77

We finished last week with 3 days of final exams in Culinary Foundations III. The first day we made pickles from scratch (cucumbers, jalapenos, raisins, onions, etc) and then took a written test on all the parts of a cow....from rump to sirloin to shank.

The following day was a 100 question written exam covering the past 6 weeks of class and a production exam. We had to create a 4 course menu using anything we wanted. The only limit was the time (which was 2.5 hours).  Having spent the days prior to the exam with my vegetarian older sister I was left feeling inspired to create a vegetarian menu.  

Amuse Bouche: Black Truffle Parmesan Popcorn

Appetizer:  Warm Squid Salad with Chickpeas, Cherry Tomatoes, & Currants

Entree: Grilled Eggplant, Fresh Ricotta, and Marinara Sauce over Cauliflower Puree 

Dessert: Bittersweet Chocolate Creme Brulee with Caramelized Bananas 

We finished the week with a little competition - top chef meets chopped - where we had to draw knives to find a partner and then create a three course meal using only items they had available in the classroom.  
My partner Alan and I created a three course Italian-inspired menu. Cherry Tomato Bruschetta followed by Deep-Fried Calamari with Marinara and Aioli followed by Cauliflower Risotto over Butternut Squash Puree topped with Toasted Breadcrumbs. We were extremely happy with our menu considering the small amount of ingredients we had available to work with. 

On a final note, I'm beyond excited for tomorrow as it is the first day of a six-week course in baking and pastry. We had a brief meeting with our new chef instructor on the last day of class last week and when I mentioned something about frosting cakes he cut me off and said "frosting is for housewives...chefs use icing"  
...apparently I have a lot to learn :)

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