Mod 2 Practical Exam

Friday, January 29, 2010

I survived the practical! As much as I tried to convince myself I wasn't nervous, I was actually very nervous.

I arrived to school extra early so that I could hopefully be one of the first to present. Apparently 12:15 wasn't early enough and I was 8th on the list (right in the middle). I was allowed to enter the kitchen at 1:15 and was given a 2:30 presentation time. I went through the motions in my head and knew that I had to start cooking my steak and potatoes by 2:10. In the meantime, I started my prep-work by medium-dicing my potatoes and trimming the haricot vert. I immediately got my potatoes on the stove to par-boil and blanched the haricot vert. When those were done, I minced some shallots, garlic, and parsley. Then, it was just a waiting game to start the real cooking. I got my steak out at around 2:00 and generously seasoned it with salt and a touch of pepper. I set up my stove so that everything was all set and within reach, then I got to cooking! Thankfully, I got a nice sear on the steak and then finished cooking it in the oven. The potatoes were well on their way to becoming nice and crispy. Once I thought the steak was done (simply by touching it because we weren't allowed to cut into it), I allowed it to rest while I made the pan sauce. The sauce was reducing nicely and my time was about to come up. I quickly reheated and refreshed my haricot vert and grabbed a hot plate. I perfectly plated my steak with a little sauce spooned below it and placed the potatoes and haricot vert above it.

At exactly 2:30 I was walking my plate down the hall to present to Chef Ana. She told me to "pick my poison" and I was pretty confident that my steak was on the medium side of medium-rare. I prayed I was right as she cut in the middle of my steak. I was right on point! I won't go into the grading part of the exam, but I was happy with the results.

I was so relieved when it was all over and spent the rest of class straightening up the kitchen and waiting until everybody else was done with their steak presentations. Everything was all said and done by 3:30 and I hustled to Penn Station to catch a train to Philadelphia to celebrate with my sister!


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