Things I'm cooking while I'm not at work cooking.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


Happy 1 whole year anniversry to me and my man!!!!!!!
We celebrated the best way we know...at our local steak house...Del Frisco's. Nothing says good lovin like a good hunk of meat with a potato next to it...

I guess I am the potato. I can live with that.

And now...

on to even more exciting news...

So things have been moving right along with culinary school, I am in Intro to Garde Manger. It's a class all about cold food items and preparation, and totally cool presentations and all the fancy french things you eat at banquets and weddings, and there is so much more to it than that, but I am a little hung over so that's all you get about that for now.

Any who, 2 days ago, a last minute arrangement was made to a cooking competition that was being put on by the Industry Magazine, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and OCA (my school). Me and 3 classmates of mine formed a new team which was added to the 5 other teams of students that had a couple weeks of practice.

We put a 4 course menu together, we then prepared everything to make sure it tasted good, looked good, and could be done in 2 hours. We packed our knife kits, and wrapped our product laden speed rack with cellophane and made our way to the event...

My teammates and I were the first team to arrive, so we got first dibs on the tables, we chose the one in the corner because it had more room on either side, and we could also work behind it, and therefore all teammates would be facing forward (it worked out nicely).

This was our view of the judges table.


Here is Chef Rosado and his team setting up in the corner opposite ours. Chef Rosado was my Basic skills professor. He was the one who taught us how to properly use our knives and how to make fancy cuts such as brunoise and julienne.

Here we are with our fearless team leader getting our station set up.

From left to right: Lisa (aka; the mom (she hated that), Sean (the lucky student who was first chosen to make this team), and then there is me (I was very insistent about using ginger), and Todd (who wanted to fry oreo's)...set up and ready to go...

...to the bar across the street!

We had an hour to kill before the competition started so we went and got some cocktails and some fried pickles at a bar called The Crooked Bayou.

Chef Georges there a little right of center and a view of the table to our left.

Here is one of our Chef professors putting the final touches on a solid sugar sculpture that was used for the photo table.

Todd and Lisa.

Lisa and Sean

Chef Rosado's team (they looked more like line backers than chef's)

This team had a lot of booze on their table. I would be smiling big too.

Here is our 1st course:

Pan smoked shrimp (with lemon and lime peel, garlic and hickory chips), seared diver scallops, and a mango macedione (fancy french term for soaked in liquor, we used Veuve Cliquo champagne), and garnished with fried plantains.

Salad course:

I made a tower of baby greens with a slice of curry fried pineapple and a cucumber cup, and dressed it with a ginger pineapple sauce and a balsamic reduction.

The main event:

Here we have a lovely Parmesan, red pepper and saffron risotto with pan seared pork medallions and shitake mushrooms in a port wine reduction, and garnished with grilled asparagus and a parmesan crisp. It was off the hook....loved it!

I have to note here that several times through out the competition we lost power to our totally ghetto cooking arrangements ( two hot plates and a over sized toaster oven) and so the plate presentation for this dish dramatically changed from the test presentation to the final plate...for the best.

And last but not least...desert:

Fresh seasonal berries in a champagne sabayon with chantilly cream and chocolate filigree. A light and perfect ending.

All together now. Yum!

Hey there's a celebrity in the house....

Our very own Todd getting friendly with Uli from Project Runway, she was so friendly.

Oh yeah did I forget to mention that our last minute team got 2nd place...oops! None of us expected it (we all went in with the attitude of just having fun). It was so cool to hear Chef Georges name called as the silver. We screamed, we yelled, we jumped for joy.

And then we went and got out picture take on the red carpet, with Tom, one of the student chef's from the 1st place team (which was Chef Rosado's team).

After we drank some more, and loaded the truck, Todd called everyone he knew, and told them of our win, and we made it back to our school and packed it in for the night.

I will have pics of my medal in a couple of days.

chow for now

leigh

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