Thermostat in class room 95 degrees
Today is the offical one month mark in the Natural Gourmet Institutes Chefs Training Program. This morning I decided to get to class early to beat the morning locker room rush and sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee (yes in the 100 degree weather). As I entered the classroom I felt a gush of hot air, "OMG its hotter in here than outside". I no longer had the desire to drink my coffee.
Our instructor for the day was filling up pitcher with water and lemon to keep us cool. I joking said " I see today is a simulation on working in a hot kitchen". According to the thermo stat is was a schorhing 95 degrees! Later to find out that the AC broke last night.
We hung in there, we learned more about sauces and infusions. Lucky were weren't on the stoves too much. I'm even luckier that I chose ot make an Almond Sauce that did not require me to be on the stove for too long.
Makes 2 cups
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 small shallots, minced (about 6 tablespoons)
1 head of garlic, roasted*
1/4 cup vegetable stock (if you can make your own BOUNUS YUMMY)
1/3 cup blanched almonds, soaked 10 minutes in warm water and strained
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup olive oil
sea salt to taste
1. In a small saute pan, reduce white wine with shallots until almost dry.
2. In blender combine shallots, roasted garlic paste, almonds and vegetable stock. Blend until creamy. Slowly add in the oils. Season to taste.
Try putting it over rice or a mild white fish, tilapia, flounder ect, with a glass of white wine.
To roast garlic: Peel off outer layers, cutt of top horizontally, rub with olive oil, cover with tin
foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 mins.
Blanch Almonds: Boil water place almonds in for about 1 minute, remove and place in a bowl with cold water and ice. AKA Blanch and shock
Reduce: Simmer liquid until it reaches a smaller volume
Don't let the sauce sit for too long, it will start to thicken, if it does thin out with some water.
If you need help send an email, but I may have to charge for personal visits :)
1st month check in - summary
It's going by so fast! It's a great experience, and overall 'good food' can taste good.
I still eat meat, but making the switch to organic/farm rasied, eating poorly treated animals doesn't appeal to me.
I don't think I'm cut out to work in a restaurant still, I think I'm at the point I can ask my instructors for some feedback on how I'm doing.
How does one mix, learning about good food, travel,and fun together? And also making our communites a better place to be!
We will see what happens.
I used to love the idea of Restaurant Week. Who wouldn't enjoy
dining out at great restaurants for a fraction of the price. After a while I stopped participating in the Boston
restaurant weeks, the food and service was lack luster. I would rather pay full price and get treated to better food
In class our instructor mentioned that NYC restaurant week is coming up and it would
be a great experience for us culinary students to seek inspiration for our own dishes (and also for a fraction of the price). I was glad he noted that these particular restaurants below keep to the true tradition of Restaurant and
give you the best they have both in food and service. If anyone needs a partner in crime to try out the suggestions below, please let me know :)
P.S Another tip to eat at 5 star restaurants is to sit at the bar and order a drink and an appitizer. Ambiance for $20.
1) Aquavit aquavit.org
2) Barbetta (Italian) barbettarestaurant.com
3) Benoit Restaurant and Bar (French) benoitny.com
4) Cafe Fiorello cafefiorello.com
5) Chin Chin - Chinese
6) China Grill (Chinese) chinagrillmgt.com
7)Firebird - (Russian) firebirdrestaurant.com
8) Gotham Gar and Grill - gothambarandgrill.com