Today we had our practical test for module 1, signifying that I am now 20% done with the program. Yikes! Our test included medium-dicing 2 potatoes (that’s 1/2″ cubes), hand-whisking mayonnaise, and making cream of broccoli soup in two hours. It sounds like a lot of time for just a few things, but to make the soup elevated in the manner of fine dining, it actually has a lot of steps including much pureeing and straining.
As I went first in the mustard competition, it only makes sense that for this test I went last. (When I really would have rather gone first.) I wasn’t so much nervous this time, but I had to wait an hour to start, chilling in the hallway with my classmates while every 5 minutes someone scampered off to begin peeling broccoli stems. The challenge of going last was that so many supplies were dirtied by the time I needed them. My classmates were doing a reasonable job of cleaning while going, but it’s not easy to do when you’re worried about the time and whether your soup is seasoned well enough and why does your mayonnaise kind of taste like anchovies?
I was pleased with how I did – save the fact that I kind of hacked through my potatoes with out too much concern. Chef Allen even commented that my attempts at design were above and beyond what is expected at this level.
Tomorrow we will have a new chef and it’s on to cooking methods, beginning with saute’.