Culinary School Here I Come (18) Week 9, Now Remind me Why I’m in Culinary School?


I had to ask myself that question one day this past week. I was on my way back from taking out the pig slop and was getting ready to scrub the kitchen and service area floors and thought “The idea of going to Culinary School was so glamorous, actually being in Culinary School, not so glamorous.” I wish I could skip the whole beginning and get to the baking and advance cooking. Patience my friend. You would think I would have patience. I even had the Chinese symbol for patience tattooed onto my body and I still don’t get it.

As I mentioned in my last blog, we are now located at the Paniolo Grill. It’s way more fun and exciting here than at Farm to Table. We get to short order cook. It can get a bit hot though. I was whipping up some Wasabi Hollandaise surrounded by a 6 burner commercial range, a salamander and a commercial grill. My undershirt was totally wet and fortunately I didn’t drip into the sauce. I’ve gotten used to the heat by now. Here are a few items that we serve at the Paniolo Grill.

Pepper Steak – Thinly slice flank steak with an assortment of red and yellow peppers, onions and mushrooms all served with steamed white rice.

Seared Ahi Benedict with Wasabi Hollandaise – Ahi seared on lettuce and toast, topped with an over easy egg and wasabi hollandaise. This is definately a winner and one of the more difficult dishes to prepare in terms of timing all the elements.

Penne Pasta with Chicken and Zucchini topped with a Pesto Cream Sauce – Our most popular seller. It must be the rich (heavy) cream that is used and reduced to make this tasty treat.

Beef Brisket Melt – An open face sandwich with roasted and simmered brisket in BBQ sauce, topped with tomato concasse and melted cheese. If you like beef, you will love this.

Roasted Vegetable Wrap with a Tahini Yogurt Sauce – We must not forget the vegetarians. Grilled zucchini, roasted peppers, lettuce and yogurt tahini sauce.

I’ve worked at the Ahi Benedict station and helped out on the Pepper Steak. I loved the challenge of the Ahi. You need to sear the ahi while toasting your slice of bread and frying and flipping an egg…all at the same time. I loved it so much that I decided to do my own version at home for dinner one night.

My version is the Mahimahi Benedict with Wasabi Hollandaise. It’s actually very easy to make and was a special mid week treat.

One final note…I was listening to an interview on NPR (Fresh Air) with Harold McGee, who wrote this very interesting book called Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods & Recipes. He says that salt not only affects the taste of foods but it affects the smells of foods. When salt is added to food, it causes the aroma molecules (I never realized there was such a thing as an aroma molecule) to want to leave the food so if you salt the food early on in the cooking process, the aroma will be released in the kitchen. If you salt the food towards the end, the aroma molecules will be released when the food is being consumed, so don’t waste the aroma in the kitchen!

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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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