Days 25, 26, and the weekend – Food Costing, Eggs, Sushi, and Saturday at SF Chefs 2011

7 Aug

Day 25 – After a day of offal, some math was a welcome change. We spent a large part of Day 25 talking about the calculations used to figure out edible portion costs and the “Q” factor that one must include when doing accurate food costing. Although some of our eyes were glazing over after a 2 hour lecture, learning the business aspects of running a kitchen, as well as the art and techniques of making exceptional food, are the reasons I came to school. Sure, I can look up calculations on the internet, but the invaluable bits on the Q Factor conversation between Chefs Peter and Udo are unlikely to be found there.

Did we cook that day? Of course. We made a stuffed chicken, which was great, as I got another chance to butcher a chicken and do it a different way. Chef Udo showed us a different way to quarter a chicken, which he made seem effortless in 1 minute, of course. Victor and I had some decent success with our stuffed chicken plate. The stuffing, or farce, was the main theme for the day.

Day 26 – Eggs. Perfect! I loved this day. Usually Carnet is the egg maker in our house, so it was great that I had a chance to hone in on my egg-prep skills. Mark was a great partner to have, since he nailed every egg preparation we did – unbelievable. I was impressed. We made the following with our eggs: Les omelettes, poached eggs (yes, with Chef Peter’s hollandaise, they were delicious!), eggs cooked on a plate, scrambled eggs, baked eggs in cream, a basque-style omelette (really tortilla espanola, in Spanish), stuffed eggs Chimay-style and every type of “fried” egg from over easy, over medium, and over hard to a “steamed egg” that was actually fried on one side and then steamed on the top. Above is the basque-style omelette and below are the Chimay-style eggs which are essentially a type of deviled eggs, but the stuffing is primarily mushrooms, shallots and herbs, and it’s all topped with a mornay sauce (a bechamel with gruyere cheese in it). Very low fat that one is – ha!

Carnet treated us to a fabulous sushi dinner at Kiss Seafood on Thursday night. We had been working hard and didn’t feel like cooking. So, we went to this 12-seat restaurant owned and run by 2 people – the sushi chef, and I’m presuming, his wife. Incredible. Without exception (okay, maybe one – the liver sauce on the abalone), the fish and preparations were sublime. Look at the colors on one of 6 courses from the special Omakase:

No school for me on custard day 😦 So, I can’t write about that. But, I know that I need to memorize how to make meringues and ladyfingers. So, I’m going to get on that soon.

Today, Igor and I went to SF Chefs 2011 at Union Square. What an eating and drinking extravaganza. I got to meet one of my culinary heroes – Hubert Keller. We also saw a hilarious demonstration from Fabio Viviani, the darling Italian chef from Top Chef and Top Chef Masters:

Chef Jeremy also took part in different demonstrations. It was great to see Chefs Bruno, Tomm and Tim outside of the classroom. Some food highlights included Fleur de Lys’ avocado shooter (can’t remember the exact description on the card) and Nettie’s Crab Shack’s dynamite smoked trout. Tuna seemed to be the thing, and although most did a lovely job with theirs, after a while I was all tuna’d out. The afternoon session was just perfect. It was lovely and warm inside the tent and it wasn’t all that crowded, so much so that I think we ate at about 85% of the places. Then, we had to tap out due to bulging bellies.

BF, we missed you today! You would have loved it. Igor and I did our best to eat for you 😉

One Response to “Days 25, 26, and the weekend – Food Costing, Eggs, Sushi, and Saturday at SF Chefs 2011”

  1. Bee Leng Chua August 8, 2011 at 4:09 am #

    I love eggs! And to read about the different ways of preparing egg dishes is so comforting.
    Thanks for the treat – visual and in words.
    Bee Leng

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