Lesson 12: Saws and Cleavers

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ugh...Today was a very labor-intensive day!  I figured veal fabrication would be much like beef fabrication, which was fairly easy.  No no no, I learned it was not at all like beef.  

First of all, Chef Allen wasn't here today, so we had Chef Chris as our instructor today.  He was just a bit different from Chef Allen in both personality and teaching styles.  Chef Allen is pretty easy-going and has a more flamboyant personality and sense of humor--- Lady Gaga is always his pretend celebrity of choice that we are cooking for.. And we are always making a profit to buy more Prada merchandise.  We have gotten used to Chef Allen's rules and way of running a kitchen over the past couple weeks.  So when Chef Chris came in, it was definitely a huge reality check.  We were timed as we medium-diced our potatoes, got criticized for not bringing our peelers to class (we never peel our potatoes, just square them off), and had our dices checked over before they were added to our pot.  I was definitely a little intimidated by Chef Chris and I could tell the rest of the class was a little stiff and unsure of how comfortable they could act around our new instructor.  Throughout the rest of the class, we carefully followed Chef Chris's instructions and replied "Yes Chef!" to every single thing he said.

Pictured above is the HUGE piece of veal I had to fabricate.  And the picture shows it folded in half because it couldn't even fit on my cutting board!  The only way to cut veal chops and cut away the bone from the tenderloin was to use a saw and cleavers (yes, little ol' me was using a saw and cleaver to cut apart meat...just put that image in your head.  It's funny).  I was sweating bullets as I was trying to cut these pieces of meat perfectly.  I'll just say I had a very hard time.  I was feeling very flustered when I fell behind my other class mates and I was scared every time I had to ask Chef Chris for help.  He wasn't mean at all when I asked for help, but I seriously felt so helpless during this task and I couldn't get anything done by myself.  Even tying up the tenderloin seemed so easy to everyone else, but was an impossible task for me (thanks, Emily for helping me!!!!!)

I was happy to be done for the day.. but even cleaning up the kitchen was different with Chef Chris's rules.  But, we got it done and me, Emily, and Dana had a little photo shoot in the kitchen!

After class a bunch of us went to Limerick's across the street for a much needed beer.  It was a hard day, so we all deserved it.  I can't believe this is just the first time we all went out together.  It was nice to talk and bond after class.  It's always interesting hearing what everybody else has to say about how the class went.  Pretty much everybody agreed that Chef Chris was a little intimidating today, but we also wondered if we would be learning more and be more prepared for our careers with an instructor like Chef Chris.  Well, at least we will have multiple experiences with different chefs during our ICE education!

I'm EXHAUSTED!!  I must get my sleep so I can get started cooking tomorrow for Thanksgiving!  Uncle Mike and Kim also come tomorrow :)
My mom and I have to cook 2 types of stuffings, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, chocolate pudding pie, sweet potatoes, gravy, shrimp dip, and chop crudite tomorrow!  Busy busy day!


Ms. World Traveler said...

What a day you had! I cannot even begin imagining slicing up that much meat. You're a pro!

PS- love the chef photo shoot! :)

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