Culinary School Here I Come (34) Week 9, Advanced Cookery, The First Six, Chopped..Maui Style & A Tsunami Alert

Needless to say, it was an action packed week here on Maui. I started a new section called Advanced Cookery. It is the kitchen aspect of our Lei’s Family Class Act Restaurant in which I just completed 8 weeks of working in the front of the house. We spend the first few days gearing up for our first day of service, next Wednesday. We honed our knife skills on Wednesday and was looking forward to our day of learning our menu and prepping. Darn, those tsunamis always come at the worst possible time! The earthquake in Japan and resulting tsunami caused our second tsunami alert here in a year. Our school is located steps away from the Kahului Harbor so all roads leading to it were shut down for most of the day on Friday. There was some minor flooding in the Kahului area but nothing too bad. We are going to have to scramble on Monday to get everything together for Wednesday service. It is our Asian Influence menu. I’ll get into more detail next week.

The First Six Ceremony

The school had a little mini graduation ceremony on Thursday evening (pre-tsunami warning) to honor the students who completed the initial 6 core culinary courses. The courses include; Cold Food Pantry, Culinary Skill Building, Fundamentals of Cookery, Introduction to the Culinary Industry, Sanitation & Safety & Short Order Cookery. We got certificates and a really cool chef jacket complete with green & blue ribbon around our collar. We must be special. Our guest speaker was a famous chef that I was a little underwhelmed with, but the food was awesome. It was prepared by the Garde Manger class.

This was some pretty authentic Hawaiian food. Kalua Pig on the lower right, Lomi Lomi Salmon above it, Squid Luau, upper left, Macaroni Salad and Pohole Fern Kimchi. It was awesome. My favorite dish was the Squid Luau. Basically it’s sliced squid, cooked in coconut milk and spinach…or luau leaves. The desserts were awesome but no pics and it wasn’t no Kulolo or Haupia!

My peeps, Kaycee & Kendra. Back together like last semester.

I had always wanted to prepare a pork loin but was a little intimidated, until Safeway had them for half off. This is only 1/3 or the whole piece. There are 2 more in the freezer for a different day. I brined the sucker overnight with some bay leaves, black peppercorns & fresh thyme. I dried it, scored the surface and rubbed it with some Chinese 5 Spice, Cumin, Salt and Pepper and blasted it in the oven. I must admit it turned out pretty moist. It’s all about the brine.

While the Pork Loin was roasting, I made a Mango Demi-Glace, Shiitake Mushroom Polenta and Steamed Broccoli. Damn, all this for a weeknight dinner.

And finally, what’s a Saturday night without an episode of Chopped…Maui Style. The only difference is that there is only 1 contestant (me), no time limit, I win and there is no prize money. I wonder what my secret ingredients will be.

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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