September 29, 2016
Today I immediately started on yesterday’s tasks of finishing the apples for applesauce in the sous vide machine, then I peeled the rest of the shrimp for the pad thai that would be demoed later on. Since the order of Korean short ribs did not come in, we used beef tri-tip which would give us the same flavor. The method we used to cook the beef was the braising method which we would cook slowly for 2 hours with dried dates, ginger, garlic and other liquids. The sauce would become a glaze by the time the meat was tender and falling apart. While that was cooking down, we finished the applesauce by adding our own flare to the mix. Chef Gil did a lot of ground ginger and cinnamon, I did a take on apple cider with clove, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and cinnamon with honey; it is the fall after all and I love spiced cider. Collin did predominantly nutmeg in his, though I did not get the chance to taste it due to setting up for lunch service. We served pork belly and fried heirloom tomato with blue cheese crumbles as a special today. This takes us down to the south where fat is your best friend and butter is one of the best. The greatest part of the day was making pad thai though. I love pad thai and had only made it a couple times at home, but it turned into a huge mess of noodles and globby sauce. I always wanted to truly learn how to make it, and now that I have I can make some of my own.
Service went surprisingly well considering the big eight top that sat down and had lunch, but I am pretty sure they were a part of the President’s group so we treated them; they take part in donating to the culinary program. We gave them pork belly and fried green tomatoes as an appetizer as well as clam chowder, they then proceeded to order salmon and duck breast individually. They complimented the food and service saying that it was a fantastic meal, and I am happy that Chef Gil was there to help out and coordinate us. I am especially grateful just because I am not used to cooking fine dining style, but rather line cooking and getting the food out. It is a nice change because in fine dining you can concentrate a lot more on the quality and methods of cooking the food that you are then plating with precise care. I like learning more about plating because I have little experience in that area. Clean up was a little bit of a struggle today just because dishes started to pile up during service, but we were busy enough that no one could spare a moment to run and do some. But just having two people in the kitchen will do that, especially on a Thursday when you have to make sure things don’t spoil. We did not leave until 3:30, partly because of dishes and partly because I was reorganizing the cafe reach-in so we did not have to do that on Monday the following week. We can now focus on just prepping things for the day. I am really looking forward to next week because Collin and I have an idea of how we want things set up in order for service to go smoothly, I believe we will be faster starting next week.