Although this food in this photo may not look that appetizing to you, trust me, it was delicious.
For major cooking techniques we learned to sear, saute, pan-fry, grill, roast, deep fry, braise, poach, simmer and steam. We had to grill pork, roast chicken legs, braise chicken thighs, sear a pork chop, pan fry a breaded chicken tender, deep fry batonnet potatoes and onions, saute shrimp, peppers, onions, and mushrooms, poach an egg, poach flounder, steam shrimp and simmer rice and pasta. Wow! Although I’ve used all these techniques many times I have never had to bring my finished piece of chicken to an instructor to be evaluated. Talk about stress!
She pried the chicken leg open with tongs to see if it was done all the way through, so good thing we used our instant read thermometer to insure it was 165 degrees inside.
At one time my plate was piled with french fries, more onion rings, and a nicely roasted chicken leg, however I sampled a few of things on the way home. We don’t get a lunch break at schoool, so after having breakfast at 9:00, then racing around the kitchen, smelling all the good food, by 2:00 it’s time to have a bite to eat. I guess I was really hungry because I thought my food tasted great.
We had a new instructor this time, Chef Jesse Watters. He is a personal chef with a business called, “Let’s Cook Gourmet”. He told us about his business which sounded like something I would really enjoy one day. He often cooks for small groups of people in an individual’s home and also teaches cooking classes for private individuals and their friends. He has a mobile kitchen, so to speak, and can set up a cooking demonstration just about anywhere. He taught us how to saute, poach, and steam. I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of him.
School is getting both easier and harder. Knowing the rules, people, and process makes it easier but getting the assigned tasks done in a new kitchen where you don’t know where everything is kept and working around a group of people who are all competing to use the same burners, fryers, oven, etc. is hard. Organization, timing, memory, and skill are critical to completing the tasks. The instructors are very detail oriented and observant so you can’t get away with anything. If you do something wrong it will be noticed, however I was happy to receive a positive observation from time to time and I can honestly say I have learned a lot in 3 short weeks. Chef Heather Kurima, Chef Nona Sively, and Chef Brad Waier have all been great instructors.