Garde Manger is nearly half over, and I now feel like I can refer to my classmates collectively as a brigade rather than individually as classmates. My chef works us, and he works us hard. He's not afraid to yell at us which is a change from previous classes. Production is I-N-T-E-N-S-E. I fall asleep at night with, "Come on people! Let's move!" ringing in my ears. We work furiously for 7 hours (that's 6:10 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.) to put together pates, terrines, smoked meats, canapes, salads, sauces, and aspic-covered trays. And my group (if you can even call it that) consists of me and one other person. That's right. 2 people. Most groups have 3 so we have been at a disadvantage since the first day of production. My class is encouraged to work collectively as a unit rather than as individuals which is unique. We are constantly asking others for a an extra hand or for instruction on how to do something.
Our assignments for the class are focused on clusters or recipes rather than individual recipe assignments that we've received in previous classes. For 2 days, each group works on one platter. Day one: cook the proteins. Day two: sauce, salad, garnish and platter decoration. My group's first assignment was the turkey platter: smoked breast of turkey, stuffed breast of turkey, sun-dried tomato, turkey pate, strawberry waldorf salad, stuffed cherry tomatoes, and a pear and cranberry chutney. Keep in mind that all of this is served cold, even the smoked turkey and stuffed turkey. Oh, and they're brushed with aspic, the savory jelly that I mentioned in a previous post. If I were to eat from a buffet, the aspic-covered items still would not be my first choice, but I have developed more of an appreciation for them through this class. I won't lie though. Even while eating from my class' buffet today I still scraped the aspic off of the slices of pate before I tasted them.
Chile con Queso
8 hours ago