As I stated in my last post, I have recently returned to the Culinary Institute of America, and as such, have been rather slow to return to the way things are at school. Last week was filled with many high points and a few very low points. My team is very rambunctious, and each class day has brought some sort of ridiculousness into the forefront of each class. Each time a situation comes up where I know better than to let it slide, for example my team was arguing over whether or not to blanch carrots for a side dish (glazed carrots) and myself, knowing full well that this needed to be done as per the recipe, just let it go until the chef said something. Situations like this seem to arise every class day, destroying my already fragile reputation with other students in my class, and amongst the chef himself.
The Highs Are High
That being said, there have been a fair share of high moments as well, (and I’m not making any pot references here). My brown butter sauce (meunere) was spot on during Thursday’s service, as well as my veg cookery throughout the week. Just last Friday, our entire class were so on on top of our game that we got out almost two whole hours early. That’s including family meal and service. I’m talking strict A game material, with the chef even suggesting that it may be a new record. Its times like this that I’m truly proud of.
And Boy, Are Those Lows Like Rock Bottom
Like my title suggests, when you hit rock bottom, the landing hurts. Today should have been the easiest of all my days so far, with my team on soup and salad station, and all the requirements of us being a Caesar salad, and some saffron-infused chicken noodle soup. No, today would be easily one of the worst. One of my partners decided to empty four gallons of stock into one pot, neglecting to read his job assignment before class (which said only use two), thus resulting in us hastily trying to re-bag two gallons without chef noticing. He did. A quick scolding there, we then move to the stock we were making that only I bothered to skim or the fact that my other partner took 3 hours to make the dressing. I told her that only egg yolks go into the dressing (she said the whole egg), and that dijon mustard was required to make the emulsion a permanent one (she said notnecessary). Chef chewed us out voraciously, even going as far as to say that we moved like a couple of re-tards (a quote from the movie, The Hangover). I felt so low not only for letting down our chef, but letting down the class because half of our salads were so poorly covered in the abomination that she had made that they were useless for service. With every low point however, comes a high, and it’s my job to keep my spirits up. I just got to take the good with the bad.