Days 37, 38 and 39 – End of Level II

25 Aug

Thanks for the guest post on Sunday, Carnet! We are both so busy I didn’t even get a real flavor of what it was like in Bangalore until I read the post. I am now craving Indian food. But, not enough to pass up Bar Bambino this evening for a celebratory dinner with Brian and Meg.

So, what has been going on at FCI for the past 3 days? Monday was “Flounder My Way” day. No, that gorgeous picture a top is not my fish – I wish. I decided I’d do a very “French” meal, so I made a good beurre blanc with mushrooms atop the poached flounder, all over my version of pommes anna, with sides of stuffed vegetables and a little vegie bundle:


Below was Ian’s flounder – lovely plating and original creation, for sure. To be fair, Chef Peter tried some before I took the picture, so we had to “rebuild” the plate a bit for the photo op.

Then, after school, Ian, Anne, Bobbie, Mark and I worked at an event catered by G. Danko until 11:30 p.m. Wish I could say more but we all signed hefty NDAs. It was an experience, for sure. Glad wine day was Tuesday!

So, Tuesday at 8:00 a.m., we started off tasting 6 wines. I am positive I have never been wine tasting at that hour before (although MN 2 summers ago with Al, Maren, Carnet and a few friends in a limo, was close to that hour). But, with a little hit of coffee, then a little hit of wine, then a little hit of water, then some tea….I’m sure my palette was perfect – ha! Our teacher for the day was Laurie Lindrup. She was charismatic, very knowledgeable, and passionate about wine – 3 things you want in someone teaching you about wine. So, it was great to learn from her. If you didn’t enjoy wine before that, I believe you would after. I would like to learn more from her, so I might go bug her.

We did some experimentation with wine and food pairings to determine what wines worked best with salty, sweet, buttery, spicy, asparagus, anchovy-olive tapenade, etc. and how the food changed the characteristics of the wines. This was the best part. I didn’t know asparagus could really change the dynamic of different wines. I learned a lot and it was quite fun. The only critique I have on the day is that we either needed to learn more on wine to fill up more time or we needed to do something else, as there were quite a few breaks that we didn’t need and some killing time that I would have liked to use either for studying or for cooking.

Today was end of Level II day, so that meant 3 tests: 1) written comprehensive test, 2) ServSafe test, and 3) practical test. I am happy with the results of the written comprehensive and the practical component, other than my lame chantilly creme piping skills. Honestly, I am terrible at piping rosettes and eclairs. I’m going to buy a CostCo sized jar of mayo and spend some time learning from Rachelle, who promised to show my how to make them prettier. Finally, I felt comfortable on my chicken quartering skills. It wasn’t “perfect”, but it was very decent and I didn’t take forever to do it. The flat fish we filleted was frozen so, unfortunately I had a bit of trouble with it, at first. But, all in all, it was a successful day. And, the BEST part was lunch.

Chefs Bruno and Rogers put together a magnificent charcuterie lunch, with the assistance of the class ahead of us. Here are the fantastic five flanked by Chef Bruno on the left and Chef Rogers on the right.

The lunch included different fish terrines, cured fishes, lovely sauces, fresh baked breads, all types of charcuterie, fresh fruits and vegetables, cheeses…. it was fabulous. Here was my piggy lunch plate:

And, here are more pictures of this gorgeous and spectacular lunch (including the featured picture of Chef Rogers’ fish, at top):

Thanks, everyone! You made my day. I cannot wait until we get to do that. Dad, you’ll be asking me to help you with the pig roasts after that 😉

One Response to “Days 37, 38 and 39 – End of Level II”

  1. Brian Neisler September 6, 2011 at 6:31 am #

    Hey Rachel,

    I’m just catching up on your blog now. But Meg and I can’t thank you and Carnet enough for the dinner at Bar Bambino. I had a great time hearing about the different foods and getting your insight on the wine pairings. The meal was absolutely delicious and we can’t wait to be dining in similar fashion at your future restaurant 🙂

    Cheering you on,
    Brian and Meg

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