The Next Step

With my first semester of culinary school behind me and the next one starting tonight, I took the opportunity to look back at all the dishes/things I learned how to make in the past 6 months:

  • How to truss and fabricate a chicken (now I only buy whole chickens!)
  • How to fillet a fish (still don’t buy fish because still think its gross)
  • Knife cuts (except tournes — they suck)
  • Chicken, Veal, Crab, and Fish Stock (and more importantly, draining large stockpots of it)
  • Pizza and pasta dough
  • Roasted Peppers
  • Roux (a flour/butter thickener that I have been making for years now, not realizing it)
  • Consomme (fancy way of saying broth)
  • The mother sauces: Bechamel, Espagnole, Tomato, Hollandaise, and Veloute
  • Chicken Cacciatore (much improved from my mother’s boiled version)
  • Veal Cordon Bleu (an experience in meat pounding)
  • Beef Stroganoff
  • Ravioli and Tortellini (the later being the only food that managed to unravel/frustrate me)
  • Eggs (Yes…there is a culinary school way to make eggs. Also there are a whole lot of ways to make them, fried, scrambled, poached, over easy, etc.)
  • Mushroom Duxelle (The amount of times this was made to be stuffed into chicken got a little excessive at some point)
  • Veal and Chicken Picatta
  • Beef Wellington (although I left because of the flu before tasting these)
  • Cobb Salad
  • Potato Risotto
  • Flank Steak
  • Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
  • Paella (the chef said it was as good as/if not better than some Spanish restaurants!)
  • Eggplant Parmasean (suprisingly, I had never cooked with eggplant before this)
  • Spetzle (funky little German dumplings)
  • Meatloaf
  • Monkfish
  • Parsnip Puree (similar to mashed potatoes in looks but yummier)
  • Buerre Blanc Sauce (can’t go wrong with a wine/butter sauce)
  • Rack of Lamb
  • Risotto

I’ve learned a lot more than just the things I’ve listed. Like the importance of having all your prep work/mise en place together before you start cooking. Or the whole sauting things to golden brown delicious.

Beyond excited to get back in the kitchen tonight. My knives are sharp, my uniform is clean, and I’ve already gone through both textbooks. Here’s to the next step!

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