Monthly Archives: December 2009

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Over 6 weeks later…

My apologies to my readers for not writing in over 6 weeks!  I’ve been a terrible blogger, I know!

After my Advanced Baking class I completed 2 others classes, Advanced Garde Manger and International Cuisine.  I was going through some personal turmoil the first week of Advanced Garde Manger.  I experienced drama with some of my culinary school best buds and didn’t want to relive the moments by blogging about it.  I consider myself a simple person and was not used to such commotion.  Anyway, the drama’s over, we communicated, forgave each other…water under a bridge.

So anyway, back to my culinary life, I learned so much since I last wrote.

IMG_1496We learned how to make sausages and forcemeats!  For the accelerated 3-week course, I had been grouped by my chef instructor to work with an interesting and sometimes very challenging group of people.  I was paired up with En, Adolfo, Winslow, and Ally.  For most of the course, I felt like I was going to have an ulcer (I guess you had to be in my class to understand).  My group consisted of some wanderers and some that needed extra hand-holding.  I, on the other hand, am the complete opposite. I have been told by many of my classmates that I am anal.  I agree.  I believe that I have an anal personality.  I am anal but not a perfectionist.  I like things done in a certain way but I am realistic… I know it won’t look perfect because perfection is impossible.  I do my best.  So back to talking about my group… my classmates, outside my group, felt my pain and would tell me how sorry they were for me.  After some time though, I became accustomed to my group and actually enjoyed working with them.  I learned a lot about myself (I am a very patient person and I enjoy teaching others) and I learned a lot about the subject matter.  On sausage day, we made keilbasa, chorizo, and my favorite, spicy Italian sausage – it was delicious!

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We had a barbecue-themed buffet, where we served different types of barbecue.  We also had to make a canape out of one of our sausages.  I made a mini pizza canape with the spicy Italian sausage and bbq pizza sauce.  3 chefs at the school tasted it and told me they really liked it.  The sauce was your traditional pizza-type sauce with a little bbq sauce in it.  I was proud of my little creation. :)

Spicy Italian BBQ Pizzettes

Spicy Italian BBQ Pizzettes

Canape Table

Canape Table

Chef instructors trying out the bbq

Chef instructors trying out the bbq

In Advanced Garde Manger, I also learned how to cold smoke and hot smoke… also learned how to build a smoker.  The same day I smoked trout in class, I smoked chicken at home on the stove top, using the Neely’s bbq sauce and bbq chicken recipe.  It was sooo good!

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I placed soaked wood chips in the bottom hotel pan, wrapped in foil, had a perforated hotel pan over that which I layed the meat to be smoked on, then used another hotel pan to keep the smoke chamber enclosed.  Instead of wood chips, you can smoke with tea, citris peel, jasmine rice.

I placed soaked wood chips in the bottom hotel pan, wrapped in foil, had a perforated hotel pan over that which I layed the meat to be smoked on, then used another hotel pan to keep the smoke chamber enclosed. Instead of wood chips, you can smoke with tea, citris peel, jasmine rice.

A few things I felt were a waste of time, in our accelerated culinary program, were fruit and vegetable carvings, chaux froid platter-making, and gallantine-making.  I guess it was neat learning about them, but I would have rather learned how to make duck confit and salmon lox instead… things that are made in today’s modern time, not things made in the 18th century that are rarely served.  These things were made by other groups.  All groups were assigned different tasks.  My group brined and smoked trout.  I wish I learned, first hand, all the preservation methods of meat.  Instead, I will have to refer to my book in the future, if I ever want to make the other things I didn’t actually get to make in class.

Chaux Froid platter

Chaux Froid platter

Carvings made out of eggplant peel

Carvings made out of eggplant peel

I made these chaux froid platters, made out of a few layers on gelatin and eggplant peel.  It was a little challenging.  I also felt it was a waste of time because I would have rather cooked then created something I don’t see myself ever doing in the future.

I must say, it was sort of fun because I didn’t know eggplant could be used creatively.

Carving out eggplant peel was quite a challenge.

My gallantine

My gallantine

My gallantine looked pretty funky because I coated it in a big hurry, within 10 minutes or so.  It looked nice on the inside.  The only part I felt was tasty was the mushroom part.  It was nice,

My gallantine on my chaux froid platter

My gallantine on my chaux froid platter

We had a medieval theme.  That's my throw on the table...

We had a medieval theme. That's my throw on the table...

We also made salt dough structures, which I felt was a waste of time.  Although, I enjoyed making my team’s structure.  I had my team stay after class one day to paint.  I thought it came out well.  I donated it to the school and it’s now at the front lobby of the school on display.

My salt dough sculpture

My salt dough sculpture

Vegetable Terrine

Vegetable Terrine

We made a vegetable terrine that was quite yummy.

Pate en Croute

Pate en Croute

We made pate en croute, which was not my cup of tea.  I entrusted my teammates to bake it then to fill it with chaud froid, but unfortunately it was overbaked and not filled properly.  I was sort of upset but what could I do…

We then made an antipasti plate that I didn’t love.

Antipasti Platter

Antipasti Platter

After this, we given heirloom tomatoes, I made mozzarella cheese, and I created a caprese salad that was heavenly… I can’t wait to make it again!

Caprese Salad with Heirloom tomatoes and freshly made mozzarella

Caprese Salad with Heirloom tomatoes and freshly made mozzarella

Besides the day we made the caprese salad, my favorite day in this class was the day we made sushi.  It was a day that we could work individually.  I never made sushi like this and was so proud.

Yvonne Sushi

Yvonne Sushi

IMG_1689The sushi came out so well that I made more that night, for dinner.

The last week of class was definitely the best.  Tomorrow, or the next day, I will write about my last class at Le Cordon Bleu, International Cuisine – it was fun… and I will also share news about my externship.  I’ll be externing at Lucques!

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