So between my last post and now, I have had a birthday, moved house, bought a new house, and finished and completed my first block and my first year. I currently now have 717 days remaining.. ahh the joys. Everyone told me that it would go so fast.. but it forever seems to drag on. Also I am not the easiest apprentice.. I ask too many questions, and I question a lot of things, not as a judgement rather more to soothe my curiosity. High maintenance?. probably. Ha.
Completing my first block gave me such satisfaction. It didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped but nonetheless I passed.. Kinda glad that 1st block is done and dusted as I would rather spend my time at work than with a bunch of 17-19year old wankers who think they are the next Gordon Ramsey. Mind you, I met some pretty amazing fellow students who I will continue to keep in contact with as well. Commercial cookery is very different to Patisserie. A lot more information to take in, but also a lot more forgiving in its methods. I am feeling more confident in my cooking.. I know I can cook. But, I am not like other students who I see can just pick it up, like that! Snap! Viola. Maybe it’s an inner confidence issue, constantly second judging myself and always feeling not worthy enough. I should probably work on that, and praise myself more often.
Some of the things that have happened over the 12 months :-
– Accidentally steamed bacon in the combination oven ?? [tired chef] Luckily saved.
– Managed to burn endless amounts of burger buns to which I have created a rule .. Lolly must not leave the salamander unattended when items are inside.
– Managed to break down a chicken and it NOT look like it had been hit by a truck and rubbed up against a cheese grater.
– I can now manage my own section.
– Some of my favourite chefs have left and moved on.
– I can get the mudcrabs in and out of the tank without the constant fear that they are trying to plot against me, rise together and plan some elaborate scheme to escape and claw my face off.
– Claim to fame : 1. my lemon curd recipe was used on a special menu item. 2. my Jamaican jerk chicken wings were an entrée special one night and it nearly sold out. 3. manage to survive a 190/200 cover lunch and dinner service by myself in a section << things like this make me really happy!! :D
– Burnt, cut, bruised, smashed, jammed all of my fingers
– Head Chef Stew, and now 3rd year apprentice Phuong and I attended a chocolate masterclass hosted by Southbank Tafe and lead by the amazing Andreas Stossel – who taught me Patisserie last year. So good to refresh information and keep up to date with industry knowledge. As well as eat some amazing chocolate.
– I rocked up to a shift I didn’t have and ended up working a double by default. Lesson learnt: check the roster.
– Dropped two containers of 3kg cornflour [on myself] within the space of an hour. Another lesson learnt: I need to grow taller.
– I can (sorta) sharpen a knife .. hoping to learn how to do it properly soon.
– Managed to stay alive and not have a mental breakdown.
– Kicked a really bad energy drink addiction.. felt like I was coming off hard drugs :|
I am about to start my 2nd stage block.. which I am really thrilled about. Poultry, seafood, meat .. all the good stuff. Some of the subjects I don’t have to complete as I did them during my Patisserie course.
I have a few goals over the course of the next year:
– Be able to cook a steak properly.
– Learn how to break down whole carcasses.
– Make a poached leek terrine .. by Marco Pierre White
– Move up a section.
– Purchase a full knife set. And a whole complete student kit, without pieces missing.
– Work experience at other restaurants.
– I also want to be taken to an abattoir and a butcher, cheese monger, fish monger, deli and a farm of some description.. I also want to complete a sommelier course to understand wines better and to be able to pair them with food correctly.