Friday, September 20, 2013

Weekly Roundup - The Cooking Begins At Chef School!

The Hogtown Cure - This week I met up for lunch with my aunt Darlene. One of the best parts about meeting up with my closest aunt, (other than spending time with her of course!) is that we both share a love of good food, which always results in an interesting restaurant choice. At our most recent catchup lunch session, we decided to check out The Hogtown Cure, a deli and cafĂ© specializing in house-smoked meats and artisanal products such as meats, cheeses, jams, mustards, and more! Having been craving Mexican food for weeks now, I couldn't resist the shops Smoked Pulled Pork Tacos served on Alba Lisa organic corn tortillas with pickled red onion, tomatoes, and jalapeno cream. Although I loved the smokey flavour of the tender pork, I found the tortillas texture a little off-putting, and would have liked more spice in my tacos. Darlene's lunch, on the other hand, was delicious! Darlene's Chorizo Wrap and Seasonal Salad with scrambled free range eggs, house made chorizo sausage, pickled red onion, smoked peppers, three-year old Canadian cheddar and mozzarella was just perfect smokey and spicy awesomeness! Before leaving, I couldn't help but sneak back to the cash to grab one of the shops giant oatmeal raisin cookies as my snack for that evenings class Just as the friendly (and redheaded!) cashier promised, it was fantastic! 
Culinary School: Week 2 - This week was week two of my chef training course at George Brown College, which means that the cooking has finally begun! This week was all about vegetable prep, which allowed us to learn a number of basics such as preparing garlic five different ways, making tomatoes concassĂ© and using them in both bruschetta and mushroom duxelle, making herb butter, a mirepoix, a bouquet garni, and chopping fresh herbs. There was a lot to get done in one 3-hour cooking period (which my teacher had to extend due to our lack of speed), but I have been informed that this is only the beginning, I should prepare for more intensity, difficulty, and multi-tasking...good lord, what have I gotten myself into! Those three hours were terrifying and awesome all at the same time. I couldn't help but freak out over the ticking clock and a number of missteps on my part, but at the same time it felt invigorating knowing what I was accomplishing and learning. I'm quickly realizing that although I have the passion and know the basics in the kitchen, I was certainly not qualified for those test kitchen and recipe development jobs that I was so hoping to get this summer. I have a lot to learn in a short period of time, and although I am shaking in my boots over handling the intensity, I am so excited to come out of this program as a confident certified chef! 

I Had No Idea! Things I learned in class this week:
  • Peel your celery before cooking.
  • Inside garlic cloves there is a rubbery sprout  that you should remove before preparing further.
  • Remove many garlic peels at once by cutting a bit off the stem of each clove and place in a steel bowl. Top with another steel bowl and, holding firmly, shake the bowls to allow the cloves to bang around inside the bowls. Ta da! Garlic peels removed!
  • Remove chlorophyl from curly parsley by placing finely chopped parsley in a small piece of cheesecloth. Tie tightly with string, and rinse and squeeze repeatedly under cold water until water runs clear.
On My Mind:
20 simple ways to take great care of yourself.

Interesting read: Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy.

Came across this really awesome pop-up shop in a shipping crate on Dundas West the other day. Check out JM & Sons gorgeous, hand-crafted custom furniture.

Nigella Lawson on the 'male gaze'.

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Listening To:
Arctic Monkeys - Do I Wanna Know


Sonya said...

I think I'm gonna like learning all the new things that you are learning in Chef School. :)
Thanks for sharing

Sonya said...

I think I'm gonna like learning all the new things that you are learning in Chef School. :)
Thanks for sharing