I took exactly one photograph today in class, because it was literally all I had time to do. Otherwise it was a flurry of activity as we were indoctrinated into the kitchen manner of our new chef instructor, Chef Karen, who is, to put it simply, not unlike a hurricane.
Back in week 2 we dirtied an awful lot of dishes in making broccoli and potatoes. Pffft. Ha. Nonsense. Before 8am hit this morning each of our four ranges had the following items set up for learning to saute’:
1. A pot of chicken stock plus ladle
2. A pot of veal stock plus ladle
3. A pot of clarified butter plus ladle
4. A half sheet tray with a half resting rack
5. A pan for pouring excess grease into (there’s a name for this size pan – it’s not a nine pan which are the little ones, nor a hotel pan. It’s the size in between.)
6. A large bain-marie (the cylindrical buckety thing) for our kitchen tools
7. 3 squeeze bottles for canola oil, white wine, and red wine
Oh, plus our normal work tables all had the following:
1. A bowl for garbage (Rachel Ray did not invent this concept)
2. A nine pan for salt
3. A nine pan for saucing spoons (tablespoons, basically)
4. A nine pan to hold paper towel strips for cleaning the rim of plates
5. A nine pan of empty water for dipping paper towel strips in
6. A nine pan for diced shallots
7. A nine pan for butter pieces
Again, I’d like to remind you that the above lists are times 4. Not to mention that when we actually got cooking we each used 4 small saute’ pans to make 2 rounds each of chicken breast and flank steak with pan sauces, nine pans on top of ice-filled nine pans for keeping our proteins in, plates for finished dishes, cutting boards, tools etc.
By 11am I think I had done more dishes today than I had before in all of my life combined. But I sauteed the hell out of some chicken and steak, and Chef Karen thought all of my pan sauces were perfectly done. Knowing I would never get to all of it this weekend, I gave the chicken to a homeless guy on the subway.