Friday, January 23, 2009

French Demos: Day 4

YOU GUESSED IT! Last day of demos which means my last day of blogging about them :-)
Today's menu was a walleye filet with mushroom caps and a red butter sauce
+ tomatoes stuffed with butternut squash
+nichoise...possible niçoise? (a finer cut ratatouille)

They started with reducing red wine, then adding shallots, sugar, corn starch, and butter. That was the "red butter sauce".
The nicoise consisted of egg plant, zucchini, red peppers, and onion.
The tomatoes were cherry and melon balled empty and then stuffed with a butternut squash filling.
And the walleye fillet just had salt, white pepper, egg, and mushroom caps tiled on the fish skin.

They had a sample of the walleye which was good (despite finding a bone) and then they also had the vanilla cherry mousse I was telling you about earlier. Unfortunately they did not chocolate our samples so we just got the mousse part but it was soo good, I barely missed the chocolate.

Today Jerome took over but there was a ton of down time so we got to ask a lot of questions about cultural differences and specifically how they run their restaurants. Jerome's restaurant opens at 7:30 and usually is open until 11:30. Fabien on the other hand is only open a few days and for strange hours. In France meals usually are spread out over the course of 4 hours (easily). Bans on smoking and alcohol restrictions have really cut the restaurant business down in France. A lot of people are suffering.
They believe that every meal must have bread and if the bread is not good- the whole meal suffers. Also, cheese is a staple (and we're not talking cheddar here folks)!
I almost wish we could have these demos all through the school year but then I wouldn't be able to put my hands to use with the knowledge I've acquired. It's been an interesting start to culinary school.

....à la prochaine...

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