I heart garde manger

I think I found my calling in garde manger. We’ve only had two classes, but I’m loving everything about it. Because of my art background, I immediately found a familiarity in the creative concepts and techniques of garde manger, and felt very much at home, where others struggled.

This week we began our introduction into sausage making with a French-inspired garlic sausage. It took all of my strength not to mess with the recipe — I knew from the moisture (or lack of) in the recipe that it would turn out dry and crumbly. And it did. The technique was flawless, but the recipe itself needed more fatback, water, oil, all of the above, or something like bread or rice to help retain the moisture in the meat.

We also created a composed salad, which was the brilliant brain child of one of the students in our school’s competition class. The salad was comprised of spinach, poached pear, a warm vinaigrette and an incredible blue cheese panna cotta. I’ve never created a panna cotta before — sweet or savory — and this was such an appropriate introduction for me. We also created paper-thin toast crisps from a shaved baguette. Each thin was dipped in butter and placed in a baguette loaf pan to create a curved form.

The last part of the salad was a smoked duck breast. We rendered the skin of the duck, almost cooking it through, and the placed it into the smoker for 25 minutes. The duck had been brined earlier that day. I’m not a fan of brining anything because I hate what it does to the texture of meat. When it came time to taste, the duck was overly salty from the brine with a texture similar to below-average pastrami.

After some debate, we decided to make the panna cotta the star of the salad, using the crisps as a sort of cage. The pear and duck breast, along with a reduction of the poaching liquid finished the dish. The salad itself was delicious, with a nice range of textures. The duck, however was disappointing — the smoke was overwhelming and the brine was too salty. Despite, my favorite part about the entire day was the creativity that went into building the salad on the plate. It certainly was beautiful.

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
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            Baker College is the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. Our mission is to prepare you for meaningful employment.

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            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
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            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
            • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
            • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
            • Has campuses in Melbourne, Sarasota, and Tallahassee, Florida
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            Salter College , West Boylston
            • Offers training programs in preparation for professional careers in business, health care, and computers.
            • Provides associate and certificate programs in medical assisting, massage therapy, culinary arts, and more.
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            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
            • 2 campuses in Chicopee and West Boylston, Massachusetts.
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            • Culinary Arts program includes the 3-week Farm To Table® Experience, where students gain a direct, in-depth look at where food comes from.
            • Numerous scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available to students who qualify.
            • Accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 campuses located in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
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