Days 21 and 22 – More Poultry, Game meat and Veal

1 Aug

I’m late on the posts from last week.  In fact, that’s the story of my life lately.  Late to the party. I wish I had more time to spend on school, practicing butchery, and cooking.  But, life isn’t that neat. It’s messy – like many kitchens.  No matter. I’m bound and determined to be a great chef, come hell or high water, regardless if I’m 60 when I achieve what I want to achieve in the culinary world!

Back to food… last Thursday and Friday, we played with more poultry, venison and veal.  I’m not too hip on veal due to the way that some cattle companies raise and treat their cows.  But, at school, I don’t have the luxury of arguing that, except for maybe with Chef Udo who is certified Master Chef and incredibly knowledgeable about and respectful of where “food” comes from. At school, you have to learn to prepare what they give you.  So, although I don’t know where the veal came from that they gave us to prepare, Anne and I prepared a delicious sauce after a few hours of poaching our veal.  The final dish on Day 22, Veal Blanquette:

I really did appreciate the fact that Chef Udo was critical of nearly every movement I made in the kitchen (except for criticizing my uniform since I didn’t wear the mandatory, useless scarf that only serves to choke me and raise my temperature. A cumbersome neck scarf underneath a chef’s coat that already has a high collar – seriously? I understand rules, since I’m a lawyer. But, I also understand that some rules, like some laws, are archaic and ridiculous, and that one size doesn’t fit all. Sometimes you have to examine the intent and realize that “traditional” laws and rules don’t always keep up with modern-day reality, efficiency and usefulness). Fortunately, Anne and I decided to set up at the station front and center of Chefs Peter and Udo on Thursday and Friday so we could benefit from Chef Udo’s watchful eyes. I think harsh critiques can be a fast and good way to learn, even if they are mentally painful sometimes.

So, what did I get right? I’m not sure. I was slow on my tournage, I trussed my venison against the grain (maybe that should be something highlighted in the book as something not to do), I chopped my onions like Rachael Ray (cool, because she’s a multi-million dollar earning cook that I like), and I wasn’t gentle enough with either my chicken or my knives. Also, I just seemed to be in the weeds the whole time, on both days.

The result? Still some beautiful tasting food, if Anne and I do say so ourselves. Below is Grandma’s chicken (a whole roasted chicken with bacon and mushrooms for depth of flavor):

On Friday, we also made a simmered beef rib stew with horseradish sauce:

I can understand how some of my thoughts could be interpreted as complaints. They really aren’t. The above are small snapshots of my thoughts, perspectives and reflections. I love my life and I love what I’m doing. I know I’m incredibly fortunate to be attending culinary school and I’m guessing most people in my class think the same.

I think great chefs are the ones who persevere through stress, complications, and a world full harshness, to say the least. I hope to persevere through all the madness in the world and someday be recognized among those great chefs. I look forward to trying to live up to your expectations, Chef Udo 😉

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One Response to “Days 21 and 22 – More Poultry, Game meat and Veal”

  1. Bev August 1, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    You have one heck of a lot going on in your life right now. Good thing you’re so feisty. I would rather watch you on TV than Rachael Ray any day. . . .and I like Rachael Ray. You will be a great chief and I can’t wait to taste your healthy food. Afraid I can’t cook many of school’s recipes. The smell of meat cooking sometimes makes me nauseous. Hm-m-m on my way to becoming a vegetarian? Sorry about the hot, sweaty scarf. Another reason, besides not being able to cook, that would make me a cooking school dropout. It’s your dream – you are very good at making dreams come true.
    With hugs – Aunty Bev

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