September 13 – Knife Cuts and Catering

Today was one of those days you have to power through as fast and mistake free as possible.  I always seems to retain more information when this happens, so I was kind of excited.  We started with some new knife cuts, so obviously it ended in injury (haha).  The cuts that stood out were tourne, oblique, and mince.  The others we pretty similar to ones we’ve been doing so I won’t go into those.

Tourne.  This is the universally dreaded cut among culinary students.  I’m gonna take a guess here and say that the real reason Brittney shaved her head is cause she had to learn tourne.  Basically, you are making a seven sided football shape.  I think I struggled so much because I didn’t know the correct way to do it.  I’m going to have to look up some videos so I can keep practicing.

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The top tourne is my professor’s.  The rest are my failed attempts

Oblique is more about getting a uniform size rather than a uniform shape.  It is a good cut for a vegetable that tapers, like a carrot.  The reason I failed on this cut is because I forgot to cut my carrot into quarters at the larger end, so I ended up with a lot of different sizes.

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Some more of my cuts.  The carrots are oblique and minced garlic is in the oil.

Mincing is easy because you don’t have to be precise.  You’re using a knife not a food processor: if it’s turned into a paste you’ve cut too much.

After we did our knife cuts we got to cater for a large group called Elder Quest.  The last catering I was front of the house so this time we changed it up and I helped with plating.  What happens is you stand in a long line and everyone contributes something to the plate and passes it on.  For example, my job was to spoon polenta on to the chicken and bean dish.  I learned a couple things from this.  First of all, think ahead.  We made the mistake of waiting till we ran out of beans to go get more.  This completely stopped service, which means half of the guests were sitting, watching their companions eat while waiting for their own food.  A better idea would have been to grab the new beans and put the old beans into that container when it started to get low.  Another thing I learned (I think I relearn this everyday)  is to ask questions when I get confused.  It always seems easier to pretend I know what I’m doing, but it bites me in the butt  every.  time.

Overall today was an awesome learning experience!

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