We’re at the halfway point! Since the last post, I’ve been practicing some culinary techniques and honing my skills, adding a few new ones to the arsenal. IF you’ve been following on Facebook @ChefTasteBud, you’ve seen the photos- what the U.S. military’s Joint Culinary Center of excellence has named its Advanced Culinary Skills Training Course. I’ve been asked a number of times, “How’s the class going?”
There’s no doubt that it’s good to be back in the kitchen. Prior to this, it was my primary job to prepare meals for a staff of about 40-50, yet there wasn’t much of a kitchen to prepare those meals in. When the kitchen was finally up and running, for the month I was there to witness it, I saw it from the front of the house, taking orders from the dining room and receiving and delivering plates from the kitchen.
Being at Advanced Culinary, it feel’s great to cook again! The course so far seems like an attempt to squeeze the first year of culinary school into a month, allowing little time to truly grasp new concepts- if that’s the intent. Certainly lots of exposure available for those military cooks whose only culinary experience is from the military. So far, we’ve practiced classical cuts, made stocks and mother sauces, chicken and round fish fabrication and some other basic skills. We’ve done an exercise given 5 hours to make 5 hors d’ oeuvres. It’s so much time but it just slips through my fingers!
One definite unfamiliarity I’ve gotten to dive into is the dessert side of things, making a dish that required making a bavarios (very similar to a panna cotta) and tempering chocolate. Yikes!
At this point we’re preparing a buffet for 50 this weekend. This third week feels like a bit of fun breathing room after some long days the first two weeks, right before it picks up again next week. My buffet partner and I are making a dish that’s evolving from a chicken ballotine with an Oktoberfest inspired Weißwurst stuffing. I’ll let you see it when it’s done!
Check for more regular updates and photos at Facebook.com/ChefTasteBud #HoneSweetHome