Culinary School Here I Come (21) Week 12, World Plate


I love being a culinary student. I get to throw around big names for things like…What is tomato concassee? Peeled, seeded and diced tomato. My foray into this module called “World Plate” was to “concassee” a whole case of Roma tomatoes. That took Casey and I about an hour and a half to complete. Your first cut a small “X” on the bottom and blanch the tomato in hot water for 20 or so seconds, then drop it into an ice water bath. That stops the cooking and helps to loosen the skin. The skin is next removed, then is cut and squeezed so that all the seeds and the juice are removed. The final step is to cut or dice as required by your recipe. If you love tomatoes but hate tomato skins, this is the way to use tomatoes in sauces. This will show your skill as a chef. I hate to fish out tomato skins from my mouth as I eat.

In the “World Plate” segment, we are learning to prepare dishes in quantities. We were just in the line cooking segment so everything was made to order. Here, the menu items have been prepared in quantity and are being held until service. For people on the go, this is a good outlet because you can be out the door in a couple of minutes. This is not your typical cafeteria food either.

A few menu items we have served so far have been Beef Bourguignonne with Parsley Potatoes.

Herb Crusted Chicken Stuffed with Leeks, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Chevre, served with Gratin Potatoes.

Penne Arrabbiata with Garlic Toast. If you look closely, you will find my tomato concassee. If you look closely in the next pic, you will find the tinfoilduck preparing this light and spicy pasta selection.

At least I was able to use the concassee that I had prepared the day before. I love being on the line. It’s fun, exciting and rewarding.

Not every day is spend working on menu items for the food court. We have a couple of days during the week set aside for lectures and cooking demos. In this clip, Chef Tom shows us how to make Risotto. It’s a very labor intensive dish but well worth the effort. We were told that you could prepare it ahead of time. If you complete only half of the cooking, then freeze it, you can start the cooking up again and complete it in only half of the time that it normally takes. From start to finish is approx. 30 minutes and you must constantly stir. Try this sometime.

Risotto Demonstration (click your back button when done)

It was a busy week for the tinfoilduck. I was recently asked to give an interview to a website called gatewaygourmet.com. This site is a resource for prospective culinary students and information on culinary schools. Check out my interview to get the details on the duck and also check out their website. Don’t forget to click on your back button to get back here.

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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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