Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Well folks time for an update.
Things are very busy here at the Culinary these days. Baking and Pastry skills class ended last Friday with a flurry. My team made cool chocolate candies. First we made bite size marshmallows then we dipped them in milk chocolate and rolled them in gram cracker crumps before they hardened. You all should know what that makes. Baking and Pastry class was lots of fun I learned how to make several types of bread, pies, cakes, chocolate mouse and the candies. On cake decorating day I finished my cake in less than a half an hour all of the kids in the class took two or three times as long, sometimes it good to show them that the old man still has it. My grade in Baking class was an A and with that effort I have final been able to get my GPA back to the 3.50 level and with any luck I can keep it there so I finish this semester on the Dean’s List.
This week my class is all about cuisine of the Mediterranean and Europe. The first three days are the cuisines of the Middle East then we do three days of Spanish cuisine then four days of Italian cuisine then three days of French cuisine to finish out the class on December 22. I get a break from then until January 4th when I start seven days of class on serving tables in the banquet dining room.
Until next time please enjoy your food and thank the chef because someone worked hard to make it for you.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Well my grades have been posted for the last block and I did well. I earned an A in Restaurant Law, Introduction to Management, Menu Development, and Cost control and Purchasing class. I did not do as well in Nutrition class as I only earned a B+ in that class. These grades plus the A I earned for my Externship has raised my GPA to 3.47 almost to the 3.5 I need to be on the Dean’s list. One more A in a kitchen class and I should be over the mark.
This week started Baking and Pastry Skill class I have spent the last two days learning how to make some basic bread and they came out really good. I am looking forward to trying my new bread making skills out at home over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Well this block is winding down I have final exams in all my classes and one presentation project left to do and it will be over. On Monday we start our Baking and Pastry Skills Class, I am excited to get back into the kitchen and do some baking. We will be learning to make bread, cakes, pastries, frozen desserts, puff pastry, and plated desserts.
On question I get a lot is do I live on campus, well yes I do. This year I am living in one of the lodges on campus. I am in Cayenne lodge and it’s located as far away from Roth Hall as you can be and still be on campus. The lodges are newer buildings that are comprised of suit setups. In my suite there are three rooms, two single rooms and one double room we have a shared entry hallway and bathroom. I elected to have a single room so unlike last year I don’t have a roommate but do have to share the bathroom. So far there has only been one other person in the suite and as I am an AM student and the other person is a PM student we don’t have any bathroom use issues.
Classes have been interesting but somewhat repetitive for me as I have done the Costing, Management and Law thing before plus I did all those things at Slickbar when I was working. The Nutrition and Menu Development class are all new to me and I learned a lot about what to eat and what not to eat plus how important reading food package labels is. Now I just need to put what I learned into practice.
So long for now I need to go study for tomorrow’s final exams in Management and Menu Development.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hello all sorry for the long delays between posting but the summer was crazy. Not only was I working at the Patterson club cooking but I was working at my old company Slickabar I set up and ran a separate production factory that was running 24 hours a day 6 days a week building products for the gulf spill.
Well that’s all done now and last week I move back to into a dorm at the CIA campus in Hyde Park NY. I have a private bedroom in a four person suite we share the bathroom but for this three week block I have only one suite mate. Taking five classes for the first six weeks, Nutrition, Costing & Purchasing, Menu Development, Introduction to Management and Restaurant Law then I take three weeks of baking. So long for now I have lots of homework and projects to get done. Check back again soon I promise to update more often now that I am back at the CIA.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Well to say the least weeks three through six have been just as crazy and hectic as the first three weeks, yes we have a chef but with that several of the old employee’s chose to depart and go work with the old chef at his new place. With having to open all three food venues Fine Dining room/ Bar room service, the Banquet room and Pool Snack bar service as well as to hire the remaining needed staff and staff to replace the departing old stuff the chef has been extremely busy these three weeks. That is not to mention the level of activity we have experienced in the dining room. Every night we are open we are serving more meals then had ever been served before at the Patterson Club. On Saturday night of week four the Club had it Gala Grand Open to show off the new Club House to all the members. We had to prepare for 600 people to be at the event. The event food included chef staffed interactive stations as follows, cooked to order pasta station, a Lobster Mac and Cheese station, two meat carving stations with Tenderloin of Beef, Duck Breast and Rack of Lamb, cooked to order Pan Seared Foie Gras station that I worked as the chef. When looking for people to work stations the chef inquired as to who of the kitchen staff had worked with or had knowledge of Foie Gras and because of the work I had done in my writing class at the Culinary I was the most knowledgeable and experienced with Foie Gras so I was chosen to cook at that station. I needed to prepare the Foie Gras requiring that I check them for veins and clean portion approximately 500 portions of it. Next was the making of 500 crustiness’ requiring slicing then brushing with garlic oil and baking them off, next a sprinkle of drunken goat cheese then back n the oven to melt the cheese. The item required two sauces a puree of fig and shallots for under the Foie Gras and a pureed fig and balsamic vinegar sauce for the top. Once both sauces were finished the food prep was done now all that was left was to set up the station and wait for the members and guests to arrive. The event went very well my station was outside on the patio overlooking the golf course and at 9:00 I was able to watch the fireworks display from my station. The members and guests that eat Foie Gras enjoyed the food very much but it was interesting to see the reaction of the people when they asked what my station was serving, those that liked Foie Gras were very excited and several came back for seconds and thirds. Those that did not like to eat it or were opposed to the idea of the force feeding of the ducks could not get away from the station fast enough. To say the least it was a very long and exhausting day but very rewarding as I was able to use the work knowledge and experience from school to get a prime station for this big event and demonstrate to the chef I had the knowledge, experience and confidence to succeed at a challenging task. Week five saw the continued work at the sauté station as well as assisting with a 100 adult and 100 teenager party in the banquet room. I did not assisted with the preparation of the food but the chef asked me to set up and run a cook to order pasta station at service time. I spent the day getting the sauté station ready for diner service then left and went done to set up the pasta station and cook the pasta for the party guests. Once that was over I was asked to scoop ice cream at the ice cream sunday bar for the remainder of the party. Week six was more time at the sauté station and on several occasions I was asked to assist with the preparation of food for several banquets of which one was a multi course wine tasting diner. This dinner was only for 30 people but it was six courses and each very different then the next. I prepared several of the starch items and well as the chocolate sauce for the dessert course. I believe the reason the chef chooses me to assist with these events is because of the training I have received at the Culinary, I understand the terms he is using I follow his directions and do the work he expects.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

HI all sorry there has not been much news but I did not start at the Patterson club when expected. Here is an update that I sould have posted a couple weeks ago but did not get to it.
Well to say the least the first three weeks at the Patterson Club were a lot crazy and somewhat scary. As we did not have a chef the first week we were being directed by the two sous chefs. There was a lot to get done but without a menu to work on we really could not prepare any food. We also had a problem when we started up the stoves and ovens the gas pressure dropped and they stopped working. This gas problem was not fixed until Wednesday of week two so we were not able to cook in the main kitchen until then. We were able to use the stoves in the downstairs banquet kitchen on a limited basis so we started some beef and chicken stock as well as some tomato sauce. On Tuesday of week two we started some onion soup, seafood chowder and a vegetable soup for the soup of the day as these are standard Patterson Club fare. With a new chef starting on Tuesday of week two and the new club house opening on Friday night to about 60 people in the dining room then about 160 on Saturday night and then lunch and dinner on Sunday things were a little hectic. We spent long hours every day of that week just working to learn the new chef’s menu and prepare the required ingredients to open for service on Friday night. One thing that made to preparation of the sauces and food items was that the Chef did not provide recipes for our use to prepare from the Chef only provided a list of the ingredients in each thing, we needed to work out from a visual and taste stand point how much of each ingredient was needed to make the item. Friday night at five o’clock the chef cooked and plated up the first of the entrée’s. This was the kitchen staff’s first look at how the Chef wanted the food cooked and plated. Considering the little amount of time we had to learn the menu and as we were seeing the presentation of the dishes for the first time service on Friday night went fairly well. I worked the sauté station with Kevin my responsibility was to cooked the starch and vegetables, sauced the plates, placed he protein and added all the assorted items that went onto each plate before it went into the service window. I also keep the station fully stocked with supplies and when time permitted I took the protein out of the cooler drawer and set them up for Kevin to cook. Week three started off the same as week two with me working with Kevin on the sauté station we spent the first couple days preparing all the items we would need for service. The Chef made a slight change in several of the sauces from a puree to an emulsion so we discarded the old purees and had to made emulsions. On Friday night of week three there was a dinner for the men’s golf opening day event and we had to not only serve dinner in the dining rooms but prepare for a banquet of 150 men in the down stairs banquet room. I helped set up some of the food for the dinner but as the start time approached I changed modes as I was asked by the Chef to do a scallop sauté station out on the patio during the cocktail hour of the men’s diner this required I set up the station with everything I would need to sauté scallops to order. There were several hot purees and several cold emulsions to be served with the scallops. Once the cocktail hour started and several members found their way out to my station things got very busy for about an hour or so. Once the members moved inside for the diner I cleared my station and when into the kitchen and assisted the chef and others in putting out the entree and dessert courses.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sorry for the long delay since the last post but with the first year of classes wrapping up the day before Thanksgiving and Heidi and I leaving for 10 day to Florida and a cruise the day after thanksgiving things were a little busy. Once home I got busy with the Christmas decorating and food cooking so I did not have much time to get to posting here. I am on a little break from my cooking education as my internship at the Patterson Club will not start until the middle of March. I will restart postings one I start working at the Patterson Club until then keep cooking.