Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Today, all 10 of us were 'Top Chefs'
Ten of us plated 20 flavorful, attractive and culinarily correct meals today to complete our competency final exam in Culinary Foundations III.
We had an under-seasoned vegetable here and a sauce that was too thick there, but we did ourselves proud. We also did Chef Dan Fluharty proud. He prodded, poked, pushed and most of all taught us for the last 12 weeks.
Chef Dan honored us with a standing ovation as class ended.
Everyone turned in good meals well made. All waited patiently for Chef to individually critique and grade every plate, giving each recipient his or her due upon completion of the scoring.
For the record, I scored 18 of 20 on the chicken dish, which included fabrication of a whole chicken, followed by cooking of one breast with accompanying starch, vegetable, sauce and garnish. I missed one "oyster" in a thigh, and Chef judged my sauce suprême slightly thick.
My grilled New York steak scored 44 of 50. It was a smidgen on the rare side, and I had not thoroughly cooked the roux (butter and flour combination) on the creamed spinach.
High marks and high praise came for my flavors and seasoning on almost every component of both plates, and Chef singled out my vegetables as having been cooked just right.
One day remains in the six-week term, and it will include a written final exam. Afterward, we will cook -- for fun!
It's a shellfish party: lobster, shrimp, oysters, clams, mussels. We will apply our best creative techniques to them, plus make side dishes to complement.
We will celebrate the completion of our 18 weeks of immersion in classical French cuisine.
Technical difficulties mean I can't post photos from today at this time, but I will post them soon.
Meantime, a toast to my classmates:
¡Saludos, Amor y Dinero!
Top to bottom on the left: Aline Brown, Barry Gose, Richard Johnson, Molly Lester, Alfie Regadio.
Top to bottom on the right: John Briggs, Fontaine McFadden, Jorge Olmos, Rob Park