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Friday, May 28, 2010

Culinary School - Week 8

Good grief!  Is it week 8 already?

In Management by Menu we discussed our field trip to Pezzella's. Apparently there was some issue with the bill at the end of the meal.  They claimed we were $50 short, which was kind of odd because we had enough money in the bill holder that after paying the 18% gratuity for being a large party, there was about $55 more that what was needed.  Chef dealt with that and somehow the missing $50 mysteriously turned up.

In Purchasing and Product ID we had about a million slides to look at.  The largest set was on Ordering, Receiving, Storage and Costing. Then we looked at the 5 sets that discussed grading for Meat, Fish, Poultry, Dairy, and Eggs.  After that we had a pop quiz in which we had to name 39 items of produce and spices.

I have received my unofficial schedule for next quarter.  It begins July 12.  I will taking Concepts and Theories of Culinary Technique on Tuesday night, and Fundamentals of Classical Techniques on Wednesday and Thursday nights.

Until next week,

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Culinary School - Week 7

In Management by Menu this week we are meeting at Pezzella's Villa Napoli for dinner.  We are going to be discussing how well the menu descriptions match the food we order, and the layout of the menu.  As a group we ordered some appetizers.  Calamari, Capresse Salad and these little bits of heaven called Garlic knots. This are little pieces of pizza dough that are tied into knots and then fried.  They are served on a platter with a traditional bruschetta topping.  YUM!  I ate calamari for the first time.  I was surprised to discover that I liked it.  I have always been a little afraid of the thought of it.  Yay me for trying something new!

In Purchasing and Product ID we turned in our spec projects and then went to the kitchen to finish up our costing project with the meat we bought at Costco a few weeks ago.  We weighed all the different meats and worked out the cost before cooking, then weighed them again after cooking as well as weighing the run off to calculate how much waste there was to arrive at a final cost per burger.  We did the same calculations with potatoes as we made french fries too.  Then, we ate!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Culinary School - Week 6

It's mid-term week.

The mid term in Management by Menu was easy.  Mainly because Chef let us look at it last week and some of us (read: me) wrote down the questions.  I was able to research the questions that I was unsure of the answer to.  Plus, he let us use our notes.  As soon as we were finished with the whopping 10 questions we were free to go!  I finshed transferring my answers to the official test and was out of class by 7:30.

Next week in Management by Menu we are taking a field trip to a restaurant for dinner to critique their menu and food.

The mid term in Purchasing and Product ID was a two parter.  For the first part we had to identify 14 various herbs and vegetables.  The second part was a take home.  We had to write product specs for 4 of the items from the first part.  I rushed home and wrote my specs and loaded them up on the portal.  This was a really good excercise for me because I had been putting off starting my product spec project.  Now I was 1/10th of the way finished!

Our Product Specifications are due next week.  In order to help me finish I am getting a netbook this weekend so I can work on my specs anywhere I am that I can get wifi access.

Until next week,

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Culinary School - Week 5

Week 5 of this quarter is review for mid-terms.  In Management by Menu we also handed in our lunch menus for our restaurants. We talked a lot about formatting and style.  Do we want to use centered or left justified? Font styles and colors. There is some belief that a serif font such as times new roman is easier to read, however, I prefer in all things a sans serif font like arial. 

In Purchasing and Product ID we discussed food grading.  We also watched this video of Chef Jose Andres being interviewed by the yummy Anderson Cooper for CBS's 60 Minutes.

Chef Jose Andres discusses Molecular Gastronomy.

Next week, the dreaded mid-terms!

Until next week, Ciao!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Culinary School - Week 4

This week was an easy week at school.  In Management by Menu we had to submit our breakfast menu.  It didn't need to be in format or menu ready and I had already written up my breakfast and lunch menus so all I needed to do was enter it into word and load it onto the doc sharing portal.  That has been done.  On Saturday while I was out running around after my massage I stopped in at Scrapbook Island to get some ideas for my final menu. We need to present the teacher with exactly what a customer would get upon being seated in our restaurants.  I found a 12" x 6" chipboard album with an acrylic cover that might work perfectly.  Yay!

In our Purchasing and Product Identification class we made a field trip to Costco .  We looked at different produces and meats comparing grades.  It was a short trip and best of all, No Homework!!! Like I said last week, (i think) I need to start working on my product specs and purchasing manual.  Those are going to be due before I know it!

We are at week 5 and according to the sylabus, it's midterm week.  EEK!

Until next week,