May 18, 2012
6AM- Out of bed in a Frenzy
Something I totally forgot to write about for yesterday's post! THE WINE TASTING! I don't know how I could've forgotten this because it was so great! Wine has always been something I only knew vaguely about, being only 21 for a couple months now, but it has definitely been something I've always wanted to know more about. I love the concept of wines and taste preferences with choice of food, and I always knew that White goes with lighter meats and fish and Reds go with your red meats, but what kind of wine is good with what? I wanted to know how to know the difference between a Cabaret, Muscat, Sauvignon, etc. This wine tasting taught me exactly that, and I found a new wine preference out of it! Usually I love both red and white- red with chocolate and white with my meals. But I usually get "Sutter Home" to play it safe or make it like a sugary apertif. Now, after learning how to compare each wine, I definitely learned a thing or two, rather than depending on boxed or fruity wines to please my palette.
12PM- Kitchen with Chef Patrick
Today was such a struggle to begin class, because some of the girls and I went out on the town to learn a little about the nightlife of Lyon. First thing we learned was that the metro closed at 12AM- unfortunately when we found this out it was way past 12AM. So we decided to take a nice little stroll throughout a foreign city...as Chef Patrick taught me how to say: oh mon dieu. Not knowing the language, I immediately thought of how Pepin felt when he first walked into america and asked for a "shower" in French..when it clearly means another thing in America! As much as this was a hassle to be lost in Lyon, I definitely saw some sights that I wasn't expecting to see and I actually really enjoyed being lost in translation.
Thankfully, today's cooking demonstrations were the best demonstrations we had all week. Pineapple's Foster, the greatest risotto I have ever eaten in my life, and a soup made from the heavens- cream of asparagus soup. The first thing I told my mom when I got back from France was the glorious asparagus soup and how I need to make this vegan! The pineapple's foster was out of this world- it was cooked papillote - something which I would've never thought of doing besides steaming fish or vegetables. Surely, Monsieur Elephant (who is the elephant who is captured in probably every picture I have) thorougly enjoyed this one!
Next up- some delicious risotto for me and my vegetarian roommate! But the veal looked AMAZING! In all honesty, if I lived in Europe or anywhere other than America, I would probably be eating meat. If you compared the quality of meats of America and Europe, Europe would definitely show much more appreciation and quality in their meats. In America, it is all about mass production, quick cooking and long preservation. And with Celiac Disease, it is hard to trust foods that have so much added ingredients. In Europe, when you ask for anything, you know you are getting quality ingredients without question. Even the sellers know and are honest as to what they are giving you! When talking to Chef Patrick, he was so proud to say how much he does not use any replacers to quicken a recipe, and that the Europeans do not use High Fructose Corn Syrup!
Ignore the rant- back to food! My favorites probably the entire week were the risotto and creamy asparagus soup. The risotto was handled with so much care and love and it definitely shown in its presentation! I have always been afraid of making risotto, but after watching Chef Patrick and learning the tricks of the trade (slowly but surely and tend with love!), I definitely will put my time in for this dish- it was tres bon! Next up was the cream of asparagus soup. oh mon dieu from the start it won my heart! The presentation was spot-on. I loved how Chef Patrick didn't put the cream into the soup, but rather he topped it off with the cream so that you can mix it in and add some extra presentation points. Everything about this soup was so amazing and flawless, i'm currently trying to translate the ingredients in my program book so that I can make my own at home!
5PM- Pastry Demonstration
How can you go wrong with pastries? This is where my heart is at. The thought of meeting a Pastry Chef just makes me the happiest person of my life. I don't care if I can't eat the pastries because of the Celiac- the thought of just being in the presence of such exquisite pastry chefs is thrilling enough! The reason why I love pastry and baking is because of the exactness and preciseness of the cooking- because in pastry once it is in the oven there's no turning back! A pastry chef must have patience, with the intent of numerous trial and errors in order to perfect a perfect dish. Just look at that dish that our Chef created- so elegant, colorful, and I can tell you this much- he definitely worked his magic to perfection on this dish. Pastry is my forte- I hope to become a Gluten free pastry chef and maybe even incorporate chocolate sculpting or something of the matter. I am an artist, pianist, perfectionist- something I believe I can incorporate into something I love- food. After meeting the pastry chefs of France, I realized just how much I cannot wait to begin my career path as a pastry chef.