I’ll do two separate posts for week 3 and week 4’s updates.

Week 3 was a pretty solidly good week. It went by fast, but the material was very interesting.
It was our base for stocks and sauces to be completed when we moved on to Saucée and Meat Fabrication class after Basics II. I really enjoyed the process of taking bones and some poorman’s ingredients and making wonderful things out of them. The lecture throughout the week was based on thickeners, stocks, and the 5 mother sauces, ending with a little bit of food science and nutrition.  Our chef was supposed to be holding an extracurricular class on molecular gastronomy soon, but had to postponed it since he is working double shifts teaching night classes, I found the little bit of lecture on food science so intriguing and I really hope it gets rescheduled! I don’t know if it is the part of the culinary world that I want to go into and excel in but damn if it doesn’t get me excited!

Kitchen lab basically followed through beginning with a couple of stocks, then utilizing the process of reduction and thickeners to create some of the mother sauces, then improving on those to make just a smidgen of the thousands of derivations of those mother sauces.  A couple of the mother sauces don’t use stocks, and we made those too. I particularly enjoyed our first use of the flambe technique, that fire gets real hot and high, it’s very impressive!
That week I made white chicken stock, brown veal stock, 3 different colored rouxs, espagnole sauce (MS), béchamel sauce (MS), mornay sauce, soubise sauce, demi-glace, veloute sauce(MS), suprême sauce, allemande sauce, beurre blanc(MS), hollandaise(MS), red bell pepper coulis, robert sauce, chasseur sauce, port and dried cherry sauce, and marchand de vin sauce  (MS = mother sauce). On Friday we did the last four of those sauces which are actually derived from demi-glace and then we were able to taste those over some filet mignon that Chef prepared for us, after the sauces were made we had our first cooking practical. We had to go through the steps of making a veloute sauce, exhibiting our small dice and blonde roux used to make it, and presenting the right amount of finished product (called yield in the industry) well-seasoned along with a properly made Mayonnaise. There was a hefty amount of stress in the kitchen that day since it was the first time we were being tested in the kitchen, but it ended well. Personally I came out with 47 out of 50 points, a 9 on my small dice, a 10 on my blonde roux, a 9 on my veloute, and a 19 on my mayonnaise. I was very proud of myself, especially since I had just received a 96 on my exam that morning.

I know I move a little slow in the kitchen, and could up my classroom game just a touch, but I am really doing well and am extremely happy about it. That was the last day of Basics I and the next week I found out I got a 96 in the class, tied for best with my buddy Dan.