Market Basket Challenge

Monday, April 19, 2010

Why do I always have the weirdest encounters at Starbucks???!  Today I was minding my own business while sipping on some green tea before class when some guy comes up to me and hands me his business card.  Apparantly he writes on a blog called "" and asked if he could take my picture.....uhhhh??  Awkward!  I didn't really know what to say, so I uh, let him take a picture of me?  Must've been my snazzy new yellow jacket from Marshalls that made me look so picture-worthy ;)

Anyways, I'll back-track to last weekend.  I spent the majority of the weekend experimenting with graduation ideas.  Kim worked on some of the dishes too so we were able to really discuss our game plan today.  I won't tell y'all the exact menu yet, but here's a little preview of what I was up to this weekend:
Notice my ridiculous sad face while killing the lobster... yup, I'm a killer and I'm not proud of it.

I brought the final dish to school today for Chef Chris to try.  Kim and I also brought it down the hall for the other chef instructors to have a taste and offer their opinons.  Overall, we got good feedback and have a good idea of what to change.

Class today was a bit different than usual.  Instead of working in groups, we were able to work independently.  We were given complete freedom as to what to make and were not given any recipes or instructions.  Chef Chris gave us a few ground rules and then left the rest to us.  We had to present a plate to him that contained a protein, starch, vegetable, and 2 oz of sauce.

At the beginning of class half of the students were let into the kitchen to take a look at the ingredients we were given and prepare a menu.  The rest of the students were let into the kitchen 30 minutes later.  I was in the first half of the group and immediately looked at the proteins.  My game plan was to keep things simple and to cook things that I knew how to cook well.  I was nervous about today and didn't want to think of crazy new ideas and then get flustered and mess up.  This was the first opportunity I was given to present a dish to Chef Chris that I could call my own, so I wanted to impress him with the skills and techniques I have learned thus far in culinary school.

Once I decided on my menu, the rest of class was a breeze.  Everything turned out perfectly and I presented a beautiful plate to Chef Chris that I was proud of:(Sauteed breast of duck with a red wine & rosemary reduction; Glazed carrot rondelles with orange zest; Rice Pilaf with fresh herbs and a brunoise of red and yellow bell peppers)

Chef commented that I cooked and seasoned everything very well.  He gave me suggestions to make the dish even better, but was impressed with what I served. 

While I was cooking, I was a little insecure because I thought my dish was going to be "boring", but I was happy that I contained my composure and executed every component very well.  Tomorrow will be my chance to add some more creativity and perhaps challenge myself a bit more!


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