Culinary School, Here I Come (15), Week 6 End of Skills Module

Phew, I’m glad this week is over. 2 exams, a cooking practicum, a final and a real estate open house! Before I tell you about it, it’s time for a little “cooking nugget.”

Did you know that there are 5 sauces from which most other sauces are made from?  Yes, these sauces are called Mother Sauces. They are Bechemel, Veloute, Espagnole, Tomato and Hollandaise. Most people are familiar with a few of those. I made a hollandaise sauce a few nights ago to see if I retained what I learned in the demo.

I served it on steamed asparagus and roast chicken. It turned out a little thick but I made it on the fly so I was happy that it didn’t break.

So yeah, mother sauces are good. The sauces that you make from mother sauces are called small sauces. We all know what some of them are….Bernaise (hollandaise with tarragon) or a Creole (tomato with green peppers, onions and garlic). There are many but these were a few examples. With the trend in eating light, most of these sauces have been forgotten…not for long though.

On Wednesday, we were told that our task was to transform a 5 oz. portion of mahimahi into something that could be listed on a menu. I love challenges so I was up for it. We’d have an hour to produce the mahi, a starch and a vegetable. After rehashing a few options in my mind, I settled on a miso glazed mahimahi. For my starch, I used won ton wrappers to create a ravioli that was stuffed with pumpkin squash, potato, shiitake mushroom and blue cheese puree. I wanted to do an Asian slaw with a miso vinaigrette (following my miso theme) but we were out of cabbage so I used salad greens and some roasted red and green peppers instead. I had planned on sauteing the ravioli in a sage and brown butter sauce but I had so much of the miso glaze left over that I just tossed it in. I went all the way with the miso theme. My review was positive. The mahi was moist and the miso glaze was flavorful. Chef Dean wasn’t quite convinced that the blue cheese in the ravioli worked and I went a little heavy on the garnish, but the class loved it.

Miso glazed Mahimahi and pupmpkin, potato, shiitake and blue cheese ravioli with a roasted green and red pepper salad with a miso vinaigrette….could I charge $16 for this dish?

Everyone getting ready to show off their dish.

That aside, it was a big week as our final assignment for this skills class was a “Cooking Show Demo.” In the usual tinfoilduck style….go big or don’t go at all, I chose the most effervescent person in the class to partner with and we knocked everyone’s socks off. I don’t have the whole presentation. I have the video that lead to the live demo where we made homemade ketchup. It was a smash and the ketchup was pretty good. Here goes.

The video production quality isn’t that great but you get the gist.

Starting Monday we will be at a different location. For the past 6 weeks we were upstairs in the lab kitchen. What a wonderful space that was. We will now be downstairs in the Food Court on the front line. Until next week, aloha from all of us in Skills.

About tinfoilduck

I had this wacky idea to go to culinary school, while maintaining another full time career. I will be blogging about the program and how it affects me as I try to manage my daily life and how I try to keep everything together.
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4 Responses to Culinary School, Here I Come (15), Week 6 End of Skills Module

  1. Linda says:

    FABULOUS!!!!!! I see a Hawaiian cooking show in your futures! The camera loves you two and you are so cute together! I can’t wait to try the mango chipotle salsa; the chimichurri is a favorite of ours over grilled flank steak.

    • tinfoildluck says:

      Someday I will find it in me to locate my audition dvd for the second season of The Next Food Network Star. I was devestated that I wasn’t selected and vowed never to watch the Food Network again.

  2. Gracie Viola says:


    My name is Gracie Viola and I am an administrator for I came across your blog and was very intrigued by your knowledge on food and your passion for it. I am particularly interested in your experiences in culinary school. As a resource for prospective culinary students, I would love for the opportunity to interview you for the site. A lot of high school students or people looking for a career change come to the site looking for information on culinary schools, degree options and career information.

    Your interview would be very valuable to these people and would help them find someone to relate to. Questions in the interview would have to do with why you chose to go to culinary school, what your experiences have been like so far and what advice you have for students thinking about culinary school. The interview would be conducted through e-mail that way you can answer the questions on your own time. Please shoot me an e-mail for more information and to get the ball rolling.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

  3. tinfoilduck says:

    Gracie, I would love to help you and anyone interested in considering Culinary School. I will be in touch.

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