Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tour of Rungis Market

A few Fridays ago, all of the superior students at Le Cordon Bleu met at school at 6:15 to head to Rungis.  All of us came armed with croissants and completely exhausted.  We piled into a bus and headed to Rungis, the wholesale market where restauranteurs from around Europe get meat, vegetables, fruit, flowers and cheese.  The area itself is bigger than Monaco!  It wasn't at all lovely and romantic like the lovely markets of Paris, but it was still very cool.  

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Best Sundaes in Paris

On Tuesday afternoon, Katherine I had an intense craving for ice cream sundaes and/or milkshakes.  At school, another classmate recommended Publicis Drugstore on the Champs Elysees.  I got the "Chocolate Rock" with hazelnut, chocolate and vanilla ice cream, a big brownie and a ton of chocolate sauce.  It also came with whipped cream and an almond tile cookie.  It was even bigger than it sounded.  Even though I love chocolate, I couldn't make a noticeable dent in the monster sundae.  But it was fantastic!

Sea Bass Crusted With French Toast

Last Tuesday in practical, we made a delicious sea bass with a breaded crust that was basically a savory french toast.  The chef made his in crumbs but I decided to leave it whole, which was a hit with Chef.  It was served with a spinach salad and maple glazed chicken.  I'm not sure why the chicken was paired with that fish, but it was all pretty tasty.  

Friday, May 15, 2009

Not Ratatouille

A few days ago, I was hurriedly heading down the stairs to catch the metro to school.  I did my obsessive, "did I remember to bring my keys" check and then my eyes darted to the figure sliding down the stairs.  A HUGE RAT!  It was huge with a disgusting tail slithering behind it.  I screamed and called my friend to talk me through the now daunting trip down the stairs.  Between classes, I told everyone about my problem, almost everyone mentioned the adorable character from the popular movie.  "Maybe he has come to follow you and you will cook together."  I think not.  After class I darted to the Drogerie and bought any gear that looked like it was designed to deal with rats and set them up in my apartment and in the stairwell.  Stay tuned...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My First Three Star Dinner

Every term at Cordon Bleu, the school treats every one in each level to a fancy dinner.  For Superior term, it is usually a 3 star restaurant (the highest rating from the Michelin guide).  About a month ago, the school announced that we were headed to Pavillon LeDoyen.  For weeks, the boys made drinking plans around the event while the girls fretted over shoes and dresses.  Finally, this Monday, it was time to go.  We all met at the restaurant at 730 for a cocktail hour.  Unlimited champagne and foie gras!  Then we sat down to a heavenly 5-course dinner.  My favorite course was "Ecrevisses et morilles en timbale de macaronis" which was a cup made of noodles, filled with a creamy sauce of morels and topped with crayfish.  It was very similar to what the head chef of Pavillon LeDoyen made when he was a guest chef last term.
Since there were wine pairings with each course and the waiters refilled our glasses constantly, our group was fairly boisterous by the end of dinner (around midnight).  A lot of people headed out but since I am assistant this week, I headed home grab a few hours of sleep.  The next day, I was the only student out of a class of 10 to show up to my practical lesson!  The chefs gave all of Superior a long lecture, even dispensing a little hangover advice involving a combination of croissants, espresso and mimosas.  

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Chocolate Final Exam

Last Saturday my practical group had our chocolate exam.  We had the head chef from Basic Pastry and it was nice to get to work with him again.  I had a little trouble tempering but after that it was smooth sailing.  My only issue was trying to sponge paint a heart with a mix of red and white.  When I lined the mold I was hoping for splotchy pink but the white overpowered the red and my hearts looked like they were smeared with White-Out.  

Friday, May 8, 2009

Second Chocolate Sculpture

Now we are much farther into the chocolate portion of superior pastry and it is a lot more fun than I thought it would be.  Tempering continues to frustrate me but I find that once I have it tempered, putting something together is usually kind of relaxing.  Earlier this week we got to use a lot of molds, food dye and food shimmer to create centerpieces.  My least favorite part about doing chocolate is the mess.  My uniforms get ruined and the other night I came home to find chocolate in my eyelashes.  Tomorrow I have my chocolate final exam.  Wish me luck!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Ethiopian Dinner: Take Deux

This week, a few of us decided to treat ourselves to dinner at another Ethiopian restaurant, this one conveniently close to my house.  We immediately noticed the more exciting decor and welcoming hostess/bartender/waitress at Godojo.  We ordered the signature Godojo cocktail, which was wonderfully fruity and spicy.  Then we had the vegetarian and meat platters.  Everything was even better than the first dinner and the portions were huge.  We had endless amounts of delicious injera bread and feasted on the spicy meats and vegetables.  The prices were reasonable and I will definitely be returning whenever I need a spice fix.