Saturday, January 31, 2009

Working for the Weekend

Yesterday (Friday) I had two practicals, one cuisine and one pastry.  In cuisine, we plated our chicken fois gras ballotine, along with an aspic made of a clarification of the ballotine's cooking liquid.  We also made white sausages with sauteed apples.  I'm not much for chicken jelly, but the chef liked my plating and my chicken foie gras ballotine.  I had trouble with my clarification and managed to slice my pinky, but all's well that ends well I guess.  After the class, I was in the dishwashing area cleaning up, and I left the unsliced portion of the ballotine on my cutting board.  I heard a huge SLAP and then my friend hysterically laughing.  Apparently, my ballotine rolled off the table and landed (loudly) on the floor.  Thankfully, the chef didn't see, and I didn't really care to eat any more meat stuffed with other meat covered in meat jelly.
In pastry, we worked with milk chocolate, making praline and muscadine truffles.  I still need to work on tempering, the process of melting chocolate, pouring it on the counter and playing with it to cool it to a precise temperature, then reheating it to some other precise temperature.  Because I did the tempering incorrectly, my chocolates weren't as shiny as they could have been.  Luckily we had Chef Walter, one of the nicest chefs at school.  When he walked in the room, our tense class gave a huge sigh of relief and we had a very relaxed day.  No one was even bothered when the power went out and we dipped chocolates in the dark for 20 minutes.
To celebrate the end of the week, my friend and I went to Rue Saint-Anne in search of wonderful Japanese udon.  This street is filled with authentic Japanese restaurants, all with very reasonable prices and some with very long lines.  The udon shop we went to find has a line of 30 people, so we went to another one and had wonderful gyoza and heaps of soba noodles for only 10 Euro!  In contrast, this morning we met up for a deliciously posh brunch at La Duree, the famous tea house/pastry shop.  We had an amazing time chatting and sharing a plethora of wonderful and elegantly presented dishes.  It's amazing that you can find such great meals at either end of the spectrum.  Exploring all the different cuisines is one of the best things about being in Paris.

Bon Appetit!

1 comment:

  1. BT is the best
    good luck tempering...
    keep up the good work..
    bon appetit