I survived my first week of Level 3, y’all! Actually, I didn’t survive. I think I thrived. Level 3 takes the first two months of training at The International Culinary Center and spins you on your end, assigning you specific dishes based on the classic kitchen brigade and then expects you to plate 4 dishes against the clock. My fellow culinary students and I are placed in teams of 4, our own mini kitchens you could say, and expected to work as a team – serving an appetizer, fish course, main, and then dessert within a specific window of time. It’s kind of fantastic.
We each rotate through 4 recipes over the course of 4 days, and on the 5th day are each assigned 2 dishes to complete in preparation for the midterm which I’ll take at the end of the Level. We’ve made it through our first rotation and just began our second. I much prefer the dishes we are making this week. Here is a breakdown:
Garde Manger Station: Poached Egg on a bed of Diced Vegetables with Hollandaise Sauce
Poissonier: Fillet of Barramundi, American Style (Lobster Sauce)
Saucier: Roasted Chicken, Grand Mother Style
Patissier: Citrus Tart
Everything has been spectacular thus far. My best dish has always been a roasted chicken, and I love the garniture and jus that goes along with this specific recipe. Also high on my list is the barramundi which is served with shrimp, mussels, and a ridiculously tasty lobster sauce. Each of these dishes is quite complex in their preparation, requiring many layers of execution. First comes the prep of the protein, then creating the base for the sauce, preparing the different garnishes, cooking the protein, finishing the sauce, then reheating everything for service. Im getting much faster and focused in the kitchen. It’s wonderful to present food that Chef enjoys eating (and even takes home, yay!). See ya next week, party people.